GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – National Consumer Protection Week, happening from March 5-10, warns people of what to watch out for when it comes to scams and how to take action.
“Robo texts are definitely something we’ve seen on the rise as regulators have cracked down a little bit on robocalls a lot of those scammers have moved over to text and definitely it’s good to keep an eye out for any text list that you don’t remember opting into,” said Katie Craig, state director for NC Public Interest Research Group.
Craig said they are educating consumers about the different types of scams and how to take action.
Meredith Radford, who is the communications specialist for the Better Business Bureau of Eastern Carolina, said consumers submitted more than 450 reports to scam trackers in ENC and lost roughly $150,000 in 2022 due to scams.
“In 2022 we saw over 10,200 complaints to our scam tracker in our area. On average we were able to open and close those complaints in around 15 days,” said Radford.
Craig and Radford both said online scams are a major concern.
“We are seeing that these scams have evolved and changed so as some scams may go down, others may be on the rise and specifically as we’re looking at online data and privacy that is for sure a rising concern,” said Craig.
Radford said there’s not a lot of regulation for online shopping, so it’s easy to fall victim to fake websites or fake companies.
“More than 50% of ads online are scams so you just have to be really careful and have a critical eye unfortunately to things and make sure that you aren’t just taking stuff at face value. You kind of have to be your own guardian when it comes to protecting yourself as a consumer especially online,” said Radford.
For more information on how to be proactive and avoid scams or what to do if you are a victim of a scam, visit PIRG and BBB of Eastern North Carolina.