Word to the wary: There’s a scammer who might be out to get you. That’s the message from the Better Business Bureau, which recently released its 2010 list of the top 10 most-reported consumer scams. The annual list is based on complaints filed at 132 BBB offices. Here’s the list:
- Job hunting: Scams targeting job hunters include online attempts to steal personal information, such as bank account or Social Security numbers, as well as phony job offers requiring an up-front fee.
- Debt-relief services: The 30 percent jump in complaints last year were primarily due to high up-front fees or no results that left consumers deeper in debt.
- Work-from-home: Some claim they’ll teach the “secrets” of making money online, others promise paid work assembling items at home or being a mystery shopper.
- Reselling time shares: Time-share owners claiming they have an eager buyer. Sellers pay several thousand dollars to “cover fees,” then never hear from the company again.
- ‘Free’ trial offers: In these offers for diet supplements, penny auctions and moneymaking schemes, consumers complain of getting billed every month and/or difficulty canceling their “free trial offer” contract.
- Home/roof repair: Beware of door-to-door salesmen who fail to deliver on promises to fix the roof, patch the driveway or do other home repairs.
- Lottery/sweepstakes: Victims receive a “congratulatory” letter or phone call claiming to be from Reader’s Digest, Publishers Clearing House or a foreign lottery and are conned into wiring hundreds of dollars to cover bogus fees or taxes on their nonexistent “winnings.”
- Identity theft: It can happen several ways: mail theft, phishing e-mails, phony text messages, computer hacking, a corporate data breach.
To read the full story: St. Petersburg Times