Louisianians Lost $43 Million Dollars in Online Scams Last Year
Not surprisingly, during the pandemic, there was an increase in identity theft due to stimulus checks and enhanced unemployment. Louisianians also fell victim to romance scams online, as well as cryptocurrency scams, which have skyrocketed up to $1.6 million dollars in the US.
According to the website Social Catfish, which monitors scams, 4,428 people in Louisiana lost $43 million dollars to scammers. That's up from $27 million in 2020. We seem to be getting dumber.
“In Louisiana, if you do look at the numbers on average victims lost around $9,000, which if you really think about that, that’s a staggering number, “ said Social Catfish CEO David McClellan.
Romance scams are also a scammers paradise. McClellan stated three out of four romance scam victims are college educated. But they may be at a vulnerable point in their lives, making them easy targets for scammers.
“Romance scams, like people, were groomed over a six-to-nine-month period, which is really staggering,” said McClellan.
It's really not hard to make sure you don't become a victim of an online scam. Rule number 1 is: Trust No One. Never give out any personal information to anyone online unless you are absolutely sure of who you are dealing with. Online scammers have become masters at making emails look legitimate by using corporate logos and fancy designs to trick you into thinking you can trust them. But if your bank needs any information from you, they are not going to solicit that information through an email.
And when it comes to Romance Scams, you can use a reverse image search to make sure the person you are communicating with is actually who they say they are.