FRESNO, Calif. (KGPE) – Online scams are up 87% since 2015, according to a new Better Business report.

The report showed a dramatic increase in online scams, which now have overtaken phone scams.

“How did this happen so rapidly,” said Central California BBB President Blair Looney.

For many, the convenience of online shopping reels customers in, but buyers should beware.

According to a new BBB study of 300,000 scam reports, online scams are now the most common rising over 87% in the past 7 years.

“The real rapid increase started in 2020 when the pandemic started because all of us were sheltered at home so we changed our consumer behavior by shopping online,” said Looney.

The report showed that 75% of scams where people lost money were online but the type of scam that cost people the most was through text messages.

According to the report, on average people lost around $100 from a website scam, lost $80 from a social media scam, and the text message scam was dramatically larger with an average person losing $800.

“This is just absolutely nuts, we are just giving this stuff away,” said Looney. “Why is because of the convenience and the ease and we don’t want to do the work to make sure that we are protected.”

Looney said to drive down the numbers shoppers should be cautious of deals too good to be true, avoid making purchases on social media, use a credit card in case it is a scam, do their research, and watch the red flags.

“Slow down and take a look at the information that information that is coming at you,” said Looney. “Look at the URL, look to see if there is an urgency that you have to act right now.”

The BBB suggests you reference a business online with the BBB scam tracker.