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Top Scams of 2015

posted Jan 5, 2016, 10:20 PM by Resty Manapat

Everyday innocent consumers fall prey to bad actors who are willing to do virtually anything to make a quick buck, and 2015 was no different. Start the New Year right by knowing the common scams, and the ways you can protect yourself. 

According to the BBB Scam Tracker, a free interactive tool where consumers can track and report local fraud and schemes, here are the top scams of 2015 nationwide: 

#1: The Tax Scam - You’re sitting quietly at dinner when you get a phone call, or maybe an email, explaining that you owe the government big money and you’ll be arrested if you don’t pay up. Rest assured, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) will never contact you by phone, or threaten to bring in local police if you don’t pay. 

#2: Phony Debt CollectionSimilar to the tax scam, phony debt collection agencies will contact you, alleging you owe them money. They often demand immediate payment, either via wire transfer or a prepaid debit card. Remember, never give your money or your personal information to someone you don’t know. 

#3: Sweepstakes ScamCongratulations, you’re a winner! Your prize: identity theft. Scam artists often lure victims in with the promise of a big payday in order to access your personal information, such as bank account or Social Security numbers. 

#4: Tech Support Scam - Think your computer is infected? Tech support is here to help! Be wary of unsolicited offers from people who claim to be representatives from well-known companies, or offer “free” security scans. Offers such as these may be an attempt to install malware onto your device and collect your personal information. 

#5: Fake Government GrantSimilar to the sweepstakes scam, bad actors will attempt to lure you in with the promise of a “one of a kind” government grant. All you have to do is pay a small “processing fee” to access your funds. 

#6: Advance Fee LoanYou’re on the hunt for a decent loan. You see an enticing ad, or perhaps you come across what seems like a legitimate website. You’re approved for the loan, but you have to pay an advance fee. Only you pay the fee, and never see the loan. 

#7: Credit Card ScamScam artists will contact you, either by phone or email, claiming to be a representative from your bank, or some other financial institution. At times they even go as far as to say that your account was breached, and ask for your credit card number to “verify” your identity. 

Source: Better Business Bureau