And amazingly folks are STILL looking for those Nigerian windfall dollars …
Each year the National Consumer League (NCL) issues a report of the top scams in the hopes that folks will learn something and not keep trying to cash in on deals that seem to good to be true. Read on to see the list!
According to the NCLarticle fraudsters took advantage of the recession to line their pockets on others’ misfortunes:
“Consumers are looking for ways to supplement their income or learn new skills,” said NCL Executive Director Sally Greenberg. “Unfortunately, fraudsters know this all too well and they target vulnerable consumers with business opportunity or scholarship-related scams.”
From the Consumerist summary:
1. Fake Checks 42.01%
2. Internet: General Merchandise 24.87%
3. Prizes/Sweepstakes/Free Gifts 9.57%
4. Phishing/Spoofing 7.17%
5. Nigerian Money Offers (not prizes) 2.88%
6. Business Opportunities/Franchises/Distributorships 2.02%
7. Advance Fee Loans, Credit Arrangers 1.82%
8. Internet: Auctions 1.17%
9. Friendship & Sweetheart Swindles* 1.00%
Personally I don’t know anyone who has fallen for any of these scams … including my parents and their elderly relatives who seemed to fall for every political ‘urban legend’ about Barack Obama before the election.
Last year was funny because our kids got email accounts and quickly started communicating with old friends from back in Massachusetts … some of whom seemed to exclusively send what we call ‘forward-forward’ messages. You know, the ones that say something GOOD will happen if you immediately forward to 10 people, and something bad will happen if you don’t.
Some are a little creepy (like the one with an animated gif of a demonic looking little girl claiming that someone who didn’t forward the message was found dead that night), but most are harmless … and it got to the point late last year where the group of them would construct their own silly ones about finding cheeseburgers under their pillows and other such nonsense. Reminds me of a recent Dilbert comic:
So … have you heard about any new scams lately? Have you fallen prey to any or know someone who has? Let us know in the comments!