What were the top 10 scams of 2010?

Posted on: December 30, 2010

The Better Business Bureau just released their Top 10 Scams of 2010. Remember; never give your personal information over the phone to anyone. If you do you may be a victim of a scam.

Many of these scams are prevalent in the Denver-Boulder, Colorado area as well as throughout the country.

•#1: Roofing scams

Roofers or people acting as roofers take down payments and never start work or in other cases, never finish work that was started. There were many other problems in the industry as complaints to the BBB against roofers rose over 400 percent in 2010 compared to 2009.

•#2: Phony debt collectors

Many consumers in 2010 were being harassed about debts they did not owe or already paid. The BBB found that many of these people who were calling were criminals pretending to represent collection agencies.

•#3: Free trial offers

Companies that offer “free” trials continue to rack up complaints for charging for the free trial and not clearly disclosing the terms and conditions behind the offer.

•#4: Grandparent scam

Beware of calls from scammers pretending to be a grandkid in distress that needs money wired to them to get them out of jail or flown back home. This was a very common scam not only in the Denver-Boulder area but also across the nation.”

•#5: 876 Jamaican sweepstakes scam

The BBB said it continues to get complaints about calls coming from a Jamaican area code: 876, offering prize money. Some callers even pretended to be representatives of the BBB. Typically, the callers tell people to wire a certain amount of money in order to receive prize money. Once again, never, ever wire money to someone you don’t know and trust.

•#6: Mail fraud

Mail fraud continues to be a main topic of inquiry calls into the BBB. These are typically sweepstakes offers or job offers that contain fake checks and instructions to wire transfer a certain amount of funds in order to receive fictitious funds.

•#7: Door-to-door scams

If you are tired of those door-to-door solicitations, beware that many of them are scams. BBB warns of shady contractors, alarm sales, magazine sales and anyone who uses high pressure. The BB suggests you say, “I’ll take your information and contact you if I’m interested.” Then use that information to check them out with the BBB.

•#8: Craigslist scams

Craigslist continues to be saturated with scammers. Scams include employment and real estate scams on the site.

•#9: Debt relief scams

The BBB said unscrupulous companies and scammers wreaked havoc on those suffering in a down economy by offering debt relief or debt elimination, charging high up-front fees with little or no results.

•#10: Advance fee loans

Offers for loans in exchange for an advance fee continued to be an issue in 2010. Consumers are told they need to provide a large fee before the loan will be deposited into their bank account. Once the consumer sends this money, (usually via wire transfer), they never get their loan and can’t get a hold of the “company.”


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