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…

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