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Tracking scams in your neighborhood

The number of scams that are reported in Missouri are continuing to rise. 420 scams were reported since 2015 and most of those scams are currently active.

The Better Business Bureau launched a scam tracker about a year ago, which will tell you exactly what scams are happening in your neighborhood. The BBB told ABC 17 that scams are reported daily and are continuing to increase.

Typical scams that you could see could range anywhere from saying you won the lottery, buying magazine subscriptions for a charity, to being employed at home.

Better Business Bureau’s Sean Spence told ABC 17 that scammers are likely to falsely support major organizations like charities because they know people will likely question them.

In 2014 fraud cost American’s close to $1.7 billion dollars, and by the time the crime was solved, the scammers left without a trace.

“Scammers can be really really good at their job,” Spence said.

Missouri is the nation’s leader in IRS scams and of women from eastern countries targeting older men into wiring money. “They want you to go down to the western bank and wire them money to some undisclosed location.”

According to Sean Spence, they usually find the criminals more often than people think, “Folks are in jail today because something was reported to the BBB and we were able to take action. We cooperate with law enforcement and took care of that problem.”

Many scams that are created originate from a real idea, then that idea gets turned into a scam. According to the BBB, the key to not getting scammed is asking a lot of questions, and doing your research.

Link to BBB Scam Tracker

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