Scams were on the rise in 2021: Here’s what to know

There are ways to protect yourself

Scams were on the rise in 2021, but there are ways you can protect yourself.

DETROIT – Scams were on the rise in 2021, but there are ways you can protect yourself.

The coronavirus pandemic made some people prime targets for cyber criminals who were looking to steal identities, bank information or money.

Scammers were calling elderly people and lying to them to get money. In some cases they’d say the victim has COVID, or that a grandchild or other family member is hospitalized or was arrested and they need to wire money.

Read more: Grandmother loses $15K after scam call claiming to be grandson, police say

Amazon and email scams are still big too. Scammers send fake emails and ask for the victim to fill out their information -- it’s a way for scammers to steal personal information. If you ever get an email claiming to be from Amazon you should always double check who it was from before you click anything.

Read more: How to avoid text message phishing scams

One of the biggest scams of the year were pet scams. People were trying to buy dogs online and some sent a lot of money to strangers without ever seeing the dog.

Never send money without seeing the pet in person first. Scammers are creative and play on emotion.

Read more: Michigan Attorney General warns of pet scams during holiday season

If you know of something Hank Winchester should investigate you can call 313-634-9348 or email to let him know. You can also reach out on Facebook and Twitter. Check out previous Help Me Hank reports by clicking here.

Read: Complete coverage on scams

About the Authors:

Hank Winchester is Local 4's Consumer Investigative Reporter and the head of WDIV's "Help Me Hank" Consumer Unit. He works to solve consumer complaints, reveal important recalls and track down thieves who have ripped off metro Detroiters.

Kayla is a Web Producer for ClickOnDetroit. Before she joined the team in 2018 she worked at WILX in Lansing as a digital producer.