A big word in today's world is inclusion. You see it everywhere, and it's attached to so many things like schools, the workplace, entertainment, and scammers.

You can say what you will about those who scam and prey on others, but they are most certainly inclusive. They're looking to steal money and information from every age group, economic group, and every racial background---basically every man, woman, and child that they encounter.

They've gotten really good at it, too. Far more local residents have been on the receiving end of a scammer's lies than you might realize, so let's try to keep it from happening to you by taking a look at what scams really worked in our area in 2023.

Getty Images
Getty Images
Getty Images
Getty Images

The Better Business Bureau Of Chicago And Northern Illinois Recently Released The Results Of Their Annual Scam Tracker Report

That report shows that menacing online shopping scams remain dominant at the #1 position for the fourth year in a row. The pandemic has forever changed the fact that shopping on websites and apps is the most common purchase method for local and national shoppers. Number-two on the list are phishing scams.

Scams remain at an all-time high since the pandemic. Scammers continue to add twists and technology, even setting traps with AI and conducting fake virtual or phone interviews, especially in employment scams.

Dennis Horton, director of the Rockford Regional Office of the Better Business Bureau:

Scammers are notorious for taking advantage of current events and news and innovating new twists to fool people. With phony online sales, they can offer hard-to-get items below market price. One thing always remains the same – playing people's emotions and rushing them to make a quick buying decision are fraudsters' favorite tools.

Getty Images
Getty Images

People Who Are Legitimately Looking For A Job Have Found, And Continue To Find Themselves Being Targeted By Scammers

Jumping into the #3 position this year are Employment scams. Having employees work virtually and virtual hiring has made fake job opportunities ripe for scammers who know the value of stealing personal identity and banking information.

Here's the full list of the BBB's Top Ten Scams Of 2023:

  1. Online Purchase: #1 for the fourth year in a row, most often fake websites, with pets being one of the top scams.
  2. Phishing Scams: Clicking on scam links can lead to malware and imposter scams.
  3. Employment
  4. Counterfeit Products
  5. Home Improvement Scams
  6. Healthcare/Medicare/Medicaid
  7. Advance Fee Loans: Loans that can be outright scams or, as consumers allege, very misleading.
  8. Identity Theft
  9. Tech Support
  10. Debt Collections

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