FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – With big deals this cyber Monday comes even bigger scams. The Better Business Bureau says scams are at an all-time high and are becoming trickier for consumers to identify.

Since the start of the year, officials say online scams have already cost us more than $380 million. Scammers are getting more clever and victims of these scams are getting younger as well.

“We’ve seen a huge increase in the amount of dollars lost through social media ads because most platforms will monitor whether or not a legitimate business is buying ad space. However, it’s not always guaranteed,” says Clayton Alexander with the Better Business Bureau.

As a result, people between the ages of 18 and 24 are at a higher risk. Another thing to watch out for when clicking a link from an online ad is online phishing scams.

“Make sure that the link itself begins with https.”

The “s” stands for secure, ensuring the information you enter is encrypted and safe. Another thing to look out for is spelling errors on the URL. For instance, you know, you might see an ad for an Amazon product, you go on to it and the link is amazon but there’s an “e” at the end
Officials say emotional purchases, like wedding dresses or pets, can cause consumers to ignore red flags.

Before the purchase, consumers may encounter advertisements for scams on social media. While shopping, shoppers may be enticed by artificially low prices or fake websites.  After the purchase,  fraudsters send fake tracking information and request more money for safe delivery.

The BBB launched a new tracking tool to help you identify these scams. With this tool, you can also report scams from your desktop or mobile device and share the scam report with friends on social media

Experts say it’s best to use a credit card for online purchases…because it offers the most protection against loss.