Rochester, MN (KROC-AM News)- It can happen fast and only takes one person with cruel intentions. 

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Scammers use a variety of platforms and tactics to take large sums of money from unsuspecting victims. The Internet Crime Complaint Center says scams cost victims over $281 million last year. 

In Olmsted County, money lost to scams in through mid-November of 2023 has already exceeded scam losses reported last year. That’s according to data published in the December edition of the Olmsted County Sheriff’s Office’s newsletter

In 2023, money lost in 37 scams reported to the Olmsted County Sheriff's Office totaled $540,832. That’s well above the $342,576 reported to have been lost to 49 scams in 2022. 

Olmsted County Sheriff's Office newsletter
Olmsted County Sheriff's Office newsletter
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21 of the 37 scams reported this year were conducted over social media. Texting, phone call, email and dating scams round out the top five for most frequent scams in Olmsted County in 2023. 

Olmsted County Sheriff's Office newsletter
Olmsted County Sheriff's Office newsletter
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Law enforcement says scammers will often target elderly citizens and create a sense of urgency and fear. The Federal Trade Commission says scammers will also claim to be from an organization their victim would know about and will ask their victim to pay in a certain way.

For more information about avoiding scams, visit the FTC’s website by clicking here.

Tips to Avoid Being Victimized By Scams

When the Black Friday deals show up, so do the scammers! To protect yourself, the FBI shared the following tips.

Gallery Credit: Jessica On The Radio

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