COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCBD)- Consumers in South Carolina lost more than a quarter-million dollars to scams last month, according to recent data from the S.C. Department of Consumer Affairs (SCDCA).
The agency said there were 92 scams reported between Aug. 1 and Aug. 31 which resulted in actual losses of $327,449.90.
“Crooks use clever schemes to defraud millions of people every year,” the agency wrote in its report. “They often combine sophisticated technology with age-old tricks to get people to send money or give out personal information. They add new twists to old schemes and pressure people to make important decisions on the spot.”
South Carolinians were most often targeted by service and repair scams, which involve consumers being approached by an imposter business and tricked into paying for a fake service. These types of scams accounted for 23% of all scams reported to the agency in August.
Purchase scams accounted for 16% of all scams reported last month followed by debt collections scams at 11%.
The agency reported an additional $41,479.33 in potential losses, which is the total amount of money reported by consumers who did not fall victim to an attempted scam.
A total of 736 scams have been reported to SCDCA so far this year, with August having the fourth-highest number of reports.
According to SCDCA, the biggest red flags to look for in any type of scam include being pressured into making a fast decision, demanding an unusual form of payment, and offering a deal that seems too good to be true.
You can report a scam by calling 1 (844) TELL-DCA (835-5322) or by visiting the SCDCA website