BBB warns of COVID-19 related scams

The Better Business Bureau is warning of an uptick in new scams. 

Scammers know you’re at home and online and are taking advantage.

"We are getting close to 500 complaints a day. Just an incredible avalanche," says Steve McFarland, the president of the BBB. 

The Los Angeles division of the BBB has had more complaints than any other division in the country.

"We received about a 25 percent increase for complaints in the month of March and nearly 40 percent increase in April," McFarland said. 

A scam that is more common now because we are spending so much time at home: free trial offers. 

Traditionally, it has been beauty and health industries that are targeted, with items such as creams, lotions, and diet pills, but lately, we are seeing free streaming fraud claims.

"They are after your personal information and they are after your credit card information," McFarland added.

Another new tactic: fake endorsements from reputable sources to get you to buy products.

"Some of the scammers' fraudsters have used "The Today Show" likeness or "Good Morning America likeness," he said. 

Celebrity endorsements are another way crooks are getting victims to buy a product they'll never receive.

"We are also seeing an uptick in COVID-19 scams and these have to do with fake masks, pills, lotions."

Millions of Americans are now unemployed and you better believe scammers are taking advantage of that by creating fake job listings.

"People are looking for your information by offering these jobs you pay a deposit which is crazy and you won't get your money back from these scammers," McFarland explained.

He says the best way to protect yourself is by having knowledge and to track down the kind of scams happening near you.

One online tool to use is BBB's Scam Tracker

There is some good news. Thanks to the BBB, MasterCard and Visa have announced new policies to help stop some of these scams. 

If you think you have been a victim, report it to the BBB.