SEATTLE — Holiday shopping may prompt more bargain-hunting than usual, which means people might be buying from a brand or company for the first time.
The Better Business Bureau of Washington encourages consumers to research all first-time companies and brands, especially during the holidays.
Some of the most used resources for researching companies include the BBB's business ratings and the Scam Tracker.
The BBB Scam Tracker recently launched an updated format and search tool.
In 2021, there were 1,156 Scam Tracker reports in the state of Washington, according to the BBB.
Washingtonians lost a total of $881,593 due to scams.
The BBB said scammers attempted to steal more than $4.1M in 2021.
The BBB Institute for Marketplace Trust (BBB Institute) partnered with Amazon and Capital One to help people learn about scams, report them, and avoid falling victim by enhancing the capabilities of the BBB Scam Tracker online reporting tool.
The BBB said the new features make it easier for consumers to identify scams and report them while arming partners with more robust data on scammers to protect consumers better.
The new BBB Scam Tracker provides an improved customer experience and enhanced data capabilities for partners to collaborate on fighting scams.
The BBB Scam Tracker makes it easier for consumers to report scams via mobile or desktop. It includes a new guided questionnaire that makes it quick and easy to report a scam.
Consumers can now review and edit their reports before submission and share the report with friends and family via social media or email. They also have the option to receive updates about the constantly evolving tactics that scammers use.
Lastly, an upgraded search function enables consumers to search scams in the tool by URL, email address, phone number and more.
Total number of scam tracker reports for 2021 in the state of Washington:
- 1,156 reports
- $881,593 Lost
- $4,162,940 Attempted