Tax Collection Scams Tops the List
January 05, 2017

More than 30,000 scams were reported to Better Business Bureau’s Scam Tracker in 2016.

The following list is based on scams reported by consumers on, a free interactive online tool launched in 2015 by the BBB 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. 

2016 Top Scams in Alaska 

  • Tax Collection33 
  • Sweepstakes/Lottery/Prizes27 
  • Online Purchase17 
  • Other12 
  • Employment11 
  • Debt Collections10 
  • Tech Support6 
  • Credit Cards5 
  • Spyware/Adware/Malware4 
  • Fake Invoice3 
  • Identity Theft3 

2016 Top Scams in Oregon 

  • Tax Collection59 
  • Other37 
  • Online Purchase32 
  • Debt Collections26 
  • Employment23 
  • Sweepstakes/Lottery/Prizes20 
  • Tech Support18 
  • Government Grant18 
  • Phishing17 
  • Credit Cards15 
  • Fake Check/Money Order12 

2016 Top Scams in Washington 

  • Tax Collection196 
  • Other104 
  • Online Purchase66 
  • Sweepstakes/Lottery/Prizes64 
  • Debt Collections61 
  • Government Grant44 
  • Phishing36 
  • Employment36 
  • Fake Invoice33 
  • Tech Support29 

2016 Top Scams in Montana 

  • Other10 
  • Debt Collections8 
  • Fake Invoice6 
  • Sweepstakes/Lottery/Prizes6 
  • Tax Collection5 
  • Online Purchase5 
  • Employment5 
  • Tech Support4 
  • Phishing3 
  • Government Grant3 

2016 Top Scams in Idaho: 

  • Tax Collection295 
  • Other123 
  • Debt Collections58 
  • Sweepstakes/Lottery/Prizes48 
  • Phishing33 
  • Tech Support26 
  • Government Grant25 
  • Online Purchase23 
  • Credit Cards19 
  • Fake Check/Money Order17 

The ‘Other’ group refers to scams that were not listed as a given category on Scam Tracker. Across BBB serving the Northwest’s territory there were more than 2,100 scams reported in 2016. Anyone who believes they may have been a victim of a scam should contact their local law enforcement and report it to BBB Scam Tracker at

ABOUT BBB: For more than 100 years, Better Business Bureau has been helping people find businesses, brands and charities they can trust. BBB Northwest serves more than 14 million consumers in Alaska, Washington, Idaho, Oregon, Montana and Western Wyoming.