BBB’s Top Ten Scams of 2016: Tax Scam is Still #1

  
     
Credit card scams drop off the top ten, while online purchase scams and phishing scams are new to the list
December 22, 2016

Southfield, MI (December 22, 2016) – Reports to BBB Scam Tracker in 2016 confirmed that tax scams are still the top scam, 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.org/scamtracker, a free interactive online tool launched last year by the BBB Institute for Marketplace Trust. Thank goodness not all of those consumers lost money as many recognized the scam before being victimized but, they 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 top three in 2015. New to the top ten are online purchase scams (#4) and phishing scams (#10). Online purchase scams were common in 2015 as well, but this scam type was not added as a BBB Scam Tracker category until 2016. 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

25.0

24.0

Debt Collections

2,456

8.2

8.3

Sweepstakes/Prizes/Gifts

2,102

7.0

8.0

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

6.0

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 

Need more help to sort out what is, or is not, a scam?  Feel free to contact BBB at 248-223-9400 or check out our website at bbb.org/detroit for more assistance.  We are here to help.

 ###

About Better Business Bureau Serving Eastern Michigan and the Upper Peninsula:

Better Business Bureau Serving Eastern Michigan and the Upper Peninsula is a non-profit organization with the purpose of promoting trust in the marketplace by assisting in the protection of consumers and businesses from fraud and unethical business practices. In addition to its recognized dispute resolution services, BBB maintains business reviews on the customer service history of more than 85,000 local businesses and provides consumer education materials on numerous topics. BBB provides its services free to the public and its service territory stretches across Eastern Michigan from Ann Arbor through Metropolitan Detroit, Lansing, Flint, upward to Alpena, and covers the entire Upper Peninsula of the state.

MEDIA CONTACTS: Journalists should contact Melanie Duquesnel (248-912-5300 or mduquesnel@easternmichiganbbb.org)