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The Better Business Bureau (BBB) has issued a warning to consumers about the increase in fake websites that are being used to scam people.

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a surge in online shopping, and as a result, there has been an increase in online scams.

One of the scams that people have fallen victim to is the brushing scam, where customers receive packages they did not order.

The vice president at the South Dakota BBB, Jesse Schmidt, explains that brushing scams can happen when website links are fake or not secure.

According to the BBB’s 2022 scam tracker risk report, there were over 40,000 reports of scams across the United States, with nearly a third of those being online purchase scams.

74% of people targeted by online scams reported losing money.

The BBB advises people to use credit cards instead of debit cards for online shopping, as they offer more protections.

Consumers should also look for secured sites, indicated by “https” or a padlock icon.

If a site does not have either of those, South Dakota consumer protection advises not to put any information in and to exit out.

Consumers are encouraged to call the BBB’s office before making a purchase if they have any hesitations.

The intention of brushing scams is to make it seem like the buyer wrote a good review of whatever product they are selling.

To avoid falling victim to these scams, the BBB advises consumers to stay vigilant and informed.

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