“Even you could get scammed.”

  • Did you know that marketplace scams represent a $50 billion scourge on our economy that impacts 1 in 4 households and 1 in 5 individuals each year?
    Falling for a scam can happen to you or anyone despite what we perceive to be the typical victim.
  • We want you to tell the story of someone who fell for a scam.
    You will need to choose one of the top 10 scams, represent how it was perpetrated and how it actually scammed the victim. Finally, you will need to show how to report the scam on BBB Scam Tracker.

“Top 10 Scams”

#1 Online Purchase Scam

These cons often involve purchases and sales, often on eBay, Craigslist, or other direct seller-to-buyer sites. Scammers may pretend to purchase an item only to send a bogus check and ask for a refund of the “accidental” overpayment. In other cases, the scammer will simply never deliver the goods.

#2 Investment Scam

These scams take many forms, but all prey on the desire to make money without much risk or initial funding. “Investors” are lured with false information and promises of large returns with little or no risk.

#3 Employment Scam

Victims of employment scams are led to believe they are applying or have just been hired for a promising new career while they have, in fact, given personal information or money to scammers for “training” or “equipment.” In another variation, the victim may be “overpaid” with a fake check and asked to wire back the difference.

#4 Advance Fee Loan Scam

In this scam, a loan is guaranteed, but once the victim pays upfront charges such as taxes or a “processing fee,” the loan never materializes.

#5 Fake Check/Money Order Scam

In this con, the victim deposits a phony check and then returns a portion by wire transfer to the scammer. The stories vary, but the victim is often told they are refunding an “accidental” overpayment. Scammers count on the fact that banks make funds available within days of a deposit, but can take weeks to detect a fake check.

#6 Home Improvement Scam

In this con, door-to-door solicitors offer quick, low-cost repairs and then either take payments without returning, do shoddy work or “find” issues that dramatically raise the price.

#7 Tech Support Scam

Tech support scams start with a call or popup warning that alerts the target to a computer bug or other problem. Scammers pose as tech support employees of well-known computer companies and hassle victims into paying for “support.” If the victim allows remote access, malware may be installed.

#8 Travel/Vacation Scam

Con artists post listings for properties that either are not for rent, do not exist or are significantly different than pictured. In another variation, scammers claim to specialize in timeshare resales and promise they have buyers ready to purchase.

#9 Family/Friend Emergency Scam

This scheme involves the impersonation of a friend or family member in a fabricated urgent or dire situation. The “loved one” invariably pleads for money to be sent immediately. Aided by personal details they’ve found on social media, imposters can offer very plausible stories to convince their targets.

#10 Government Grant Scam

In this con, individuals are enticed by promises of free, guaranteed government grants. The only catch is a “processing fee.” Other fees follow, but the promised grant never materializes.

“BBB Scam Tracker”

For information visit https://www.bbb.org/scamtracker/us/. As an additional reference you may download the BBB Scam Tracker Annual Risk Report, it provides groundbreaking insights built from BBB Scam Tracker data.