BBB Releases List Of The Top 10 Scams of 2018
From online purchases to advance fee loans, 2018 had a scam for just about anyone.
Dennis Horton, Director of the Rockford Regional Office of the Better Business Bureau (BBB) passed along to me the list compiled by the BBB detailing the biggest scams perpetrated on the American public over the last year. And, believe me, there were plenty to go around.
Experts say 1.4 million fake websites are created every month with criminals replacing some of these websites every few hours in order to avoid detection. Every year, the BBB issues warnings on bad players, many of whom pose as online retail companies and take consumers money without ever sending merchandise.
Here, according to the BBB, are the top ten tactics used last year to con people out of their hard-earned money:
1. Online Purchase – fake websites
2. Employment – job offer scams
3. Debt Collections – invoices, calls or emails for fake debts
4. Tech Support – calls, texts or emails from fake tech support agents
5. Tax Collection – fake IRS or Treasury Dept. calls/emails
6. Utility – fake calls/emails claiming your service will be shut off unless you pay
7. Fake Check/Money Order – scammers send a fake check and convince recipients to send fees or the balance of an “overpayment” back
8. Counterfeit Product – often tied in with scam websites – consumers are sent cheap counterfeit items worth a fraction of the real item
9. Phishing – a series of fake spoofed emails requesting money or personal information
10. Advance Fee Loan – the promise of a “loan” – after you pay fees
A 2017 BBB report also determined online purchase scams to be the riskiest form of consumer fraud based on exposure, susceptibility, and monetary loss. The most common online purchase scams are typically related to pets, clothing, cosmetics, electronics, and automobiles.
The offer of free trials was a common tactic for these online purchases: 67% of scams involving cosmetics and 60% involving nutrition products mentioned a free trial opportunity. BBB recently issued an investigative study into the pitfalls of free trial offer scams.