While everyone has been caught up in the COVID-19 pandemic, internet scammers have been busy coming up with new ways to rip people off.

Over the last year, during the pandemic, Connecticut has become part of a national trend that saw an increase in online scams of more then twenty-five percent from 2019 to 2020.

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New statistics just released from research company Comparitech, which monitors online scams, are reporting some 41,703 people in the state were victims to online scamming since the start of the pandemic.

According to patch.com, scammers managed to take around 73.5 million dollars from unsuspecting residents of the state, which was up from 54.1 million back in 2019.

Nicole Thomas works at the Better Business Bureau and said in a statement that scammers know what their doing, and when they can find a system that works, they tend to stick to that plan.

One of the main reason these online scams became so profitable is due to the fact that more people were working from home during the pandemic, so there was a whole new group for the scammers to target.

Usually it's the seniors who fall victim to these scams more then others, but during the last year, scammers have shifted their areas of concentration and children who were online more due to at home-learning were among the group with the largest increase in online scams, up 153 percent in the last year.

The latest report cited Identity theft, online shopping scams, health care and company related scams as the type of online fraud that were up the most.

Here are some tips from the Federal Trade Commission on how to avoid some of the tricks scammers have been using during the coronavirus to get your money.

  • Hang up on robocalls. Don't press any numbers.
  • Fact-check information. Scammers, and sometimes well-meaning people, share information that hasn't been verified.
  • Know whom you're buying from.
  • Don't respond to texts and emails about receiving money for COVID-19 cases. Anyone who tells you they can get you the money now is a scammer.
  • Don't click on links from sources you don't know.
  • Watch for emails claiming to be from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) or experts saying they have information about the virus.
  • Ignore online offers for vaccinations. There currently are no vaccines, pills, potions, lotions, lozenges or other prescription or over-the-counter products available to treat or cure the coronavirus.
  • Do your homework when it comes to donations. Don't let anyone rush you into making a donation. If someone wants donations in cash, by gift card or by wiring money, don't do it.
  • Never say yes when asked a question from a solicitor. Your voice could be recorded and used to set up a situation where it sounds like your agreeing with their terms and conditions.

KEEP READING: These are the top 6 scams connected to the pandemic

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