NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Consumers are losing out on billions of dollars every year to scammers. Here’s a look at the biggest local scams going around, and what you need to do if they come for your money.

“This time of year, be cautious of the emails you’re looking at. Know where you are buying stuff from, and know who you’re meeting,” Sgt. William Timson of the La Vergne Police Department.

Timson said that there no longer seems to be a scam season. Unfortunately, scams appear to be happening all the time. One scammer claimed on Facebook that they were selling t-shirts to raise money for the La Vergne Police Department.

“If it ever comes from the La Vergne Police Department, we don’t solicit over the phone, we don’t solicit on Facebook.”

Still, Timson said that innocent people fell for it. He even saw scammers target their fellow criminals, telling sex offenders they need to pay a fine or face going to jail.

“We actually had some of them that read it and came down to the police department to follow up, found out it was a scam.”

New data from the Federal Trade Commission said that consumers lost an astounding $5.8 billion to fraud in 2021, up 70% from the year prior, and Timson said the victims often range in age.

“Years ago, it used to be that the elderly were targeted because they just didn’t pay attention or they just didn’t know the new technology. And nowadays, it’s just anybody who’s in a hurry and doesn’t pay attention, and they fall victim just that quick,” he said.

Scammers are seemingly always changing their tactics. In Spring Hill, they zeroed in on drivers sending fake red-light camera tickets; Spring Hill does not even have red-light cameras.

In Stewart County, food was the lure, with a message claiming your pizza order didn’t process.

According to the FTC I.D. theft map, in Middle Tennessee victims reported 774 imposter scams and 387 online shopping scams in the third quarter alone. No matter the method, if you are a victim, Timson said that step one is reporting it.

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“After you talk to the officer, or whoever you report it to with the police department, I would definitely notify my bank or credit card company depending on how it was sent, because some of them now are building in protection for stuff like this,” Timson said.

According to Timson, more often than not you will not see your money again, but some people get lucky. The F.T.C. was able to successfully give back $462 million to victims in the 2022 fiscal year.