The Better Business Bureau's Top Ten Scams of 2010
Jan 7th, 2011
#1.)Identity Theft. Most of the stuff on this list can lead to identity theft, but the Better Business Bureau gave it its own designation because it's such a problem.
#2.)Job-Hunting Scams. If you have to give personal information like your bank account or social security number in order to be considered for a job, the job isn't real.
#3.)Debt Relief Services. Most of them charge fees, and they can put you in even MORE debt. Last year, complaints about debt relief and settlement services increased by 30%.
#4.)Work-From-Home Scams. Remember this: If you could make anything close to a living wage by working from home as a mystery shopper or a survey taker, everyone would be doing it.
#5.)Timeshare Resellers. The Better Business Bureau received 40% more complaints having to do with timeshares last year. One common scam goes like this:A fake company targets a desperate timeshare owner who needs to get rid of a property. Then they ask for a few thousand dollars to cover the fees, and once they get it, the owner never hears from them again.
#6.) "Free" Trial Offers. They always claim to be "no risk", but last year thousands of people complained about companies charging their credit card after their free trials expired. And then when they tried to cancel, it was next to impossible.
#7.)Door-To-Door Salesmen. Specifically, door-to-door salesmen who promise to do some kind of work on your house. Last year, complaints about roofing companies were up 40%, partly because of one company called American Shingle.
--American Shingle sent salesmen door-to-door and got people to pay for new roofs. Then they declared bankruptcy and didn't do any of the repairs.
#8.)Lottery and Sweepstakes Scams. Senior citizens are usually the victims. Here's how the scam goes: Your sweet, old Granny Edna gets a phone call from someone pretending to be associated with "Reader's Digest" or "Publisher's Clearing House", and they tell her she just won a huge million dollar jackpot. All she has to do to claim it is wire them a few hundred dollars, or give them access to her bank account.
#9.)Over-Payment Scams. They typically target small business owners, landlords, and sellers on sites like Craigslist. The way it works is, the scammer overpays for a product or a service using a stolen credit card number.Then while the payment is still pending, they ask the seller to wire the difference back to them. The scammer gets the money, but the original payment doesn't go through.
#10.) Advance Fee Loan Scams. Victims are told they qualify for a large loan, but they have to pay a fee upfront. Sometimes the fees are over a thousand bucks. And advance fee loan scams target people who are ALREADY struggling financially.