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Top BBB scams prey on those with money troubles

Posted by Tracy in Consumer Headlines and has 1 Comment
Feb 23 2011

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

One Response to “Top BBB scams prey on those with money troubles”

  1. Bruce Williamson says:

    Got and e-mail today from Nigeria claiming that I won a lottery! My e-mail address was selected as a winner. Funny I don’t remember entering an e-mail lottery.

    Then I received another e-mail from Nigeria claiming that they were trying to help me get my 9.5 million dollars that I also didn’t know that I had. They actually think that I wouldn’t know if I had 9.5 million USD or not?

    Some of these scams are downright insulting!

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