NORTH CAROLINA — Falling victim to an internet scam is affecting more people in North Carolina every year, with the coronavirus pandemic apparently exacerbating the problem nationwide.

In North Carolina, at least 204,000 people fell victim to reported online scams in 2020, a 19 percent increase from the more than 171,000 reported in 2019, according to Comparitech, a technology research company that analyzed data from the Federal Trade Commission, Better Business Bureau, Finance Crimes Enforcement Network and Internet Crime Complaint Center.

North Carolina is part of a national trend that saw an increase in Americans who reported online scams, from 3.8 million to 4.77 million from 2019 to 2020 — a 25 percent increase, according to Comparitech. Approximately, 19.45 victims per 1,000 people in North Carolina were reported in 2020, up from 16.33 in 2019, Comparitech found.

Scam victims in North Carolina were out nearly $154 million in 2020, compared…

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