Reports to BBB Scam Tracker in 2016 confirmed that tax scams are still at the top of the list, despite a huge drop in reports after a September police raid in Mumbai, India. The list was compiled based on more than 30,000 scam reports filed by consumers on BBB Scam Tracker, a free online tool launched last year by BBB’s Institute for Marketplace Trust. Not all consumers lost money, as many recognized the scam before being victimized but reported it anyway to help warn others.
The top three scams on the 2016 list – tax scams, debt collection scams, and sweepstakes/prizes/gifts scams – were the same as in 2015. New to the top ten are online purchase scams (#4) and phishing scams (#10). Employment scams (#5) are also new to the top ten, but only because work-from-home scams, previously a separate category, were included. Another change was the drop of tech support scams from #4 last year to #7 this year.
Scam Type; Scam Reports; Percentage; Last Year
Tax Scams (IRS and CRA); 7,530; 25; 24
Debt Collections; 2,456; 8.2; 8.3
Sweepstakes/Prizes/Gifts; 2,102; 7; 8
Online Purchase; 1,891; 6.3; —-
Employment; 1,773; 5.9; —-
Government Grant; 1,453; 4.8; 5.7
Tech Support; 1,382; 4.6; 6
Advance Fee Loan; 965; 3.2; 3.8
Fake Check/Money Order; 872; 2.9; 2.4
Phishing; 776; 2.6; —-
BBB encourages consumers to learn how to recognize scams and to avoid them by following these ten simple steps: bbb.org/avoidscams.
Information for this story was provided by BBB.