Better Business Bureau serving Central East Texas Names Top Ten Scams of 2017
Dec 29, 2017 | 242 views | 0 0 comments | 0 0 recommendations | email to a friend | print

December 29, 2017, Tyler, TX – Better Business Bureau serving Central East Texas announces the Top Ten Scams of 2017.Many are new twists on existing scams, but scammers become more sophisticated every year in how they spoof trusted brands and how they fool consumers.The Federal Trade Commission’s Consumer Sentinel estimates Texans lost over $99 million in 2016.  

For the last three years in a row, the IRS Tax topped the list,” said Mechele Agbayani Mills, President and CEO of BBB serving Central East Texas. “Unfortunately, this means that many continue to fall for the scam.”

The following list includes the most reported scams and suspicious activities of 2017 via BBB Scam Tracker:

  1. Internal Revenue Service (IRS)- Scammers posing as IRS agents claim you owe back taxes and threaten lawsuits and arrest if payment is not sent immediately.  Keep in mind, the IRS does not make threatening phone calls, nor do you send payment via unconventional methods such as gift cards or wire transfer.

  2. Sweepstakes/Lottery/Prizes - Winning the sweepstakes, dream vacation, large amounts of money, a new car, shopping spree or new technology sounds great especially if you didn’t enter to win. Unexpected prize and lottery scams rely on your excitement to lure you into paying fees for your prize or and typically require that you provide your personal information with the intent of compromising your identity. Remember, you should never have to pay fees for winning a prize. You will also never win a lottery you never entered.

  3. Government Grant- Victims receive a phone call, email or letter stating they qualified for a government grant, but to receive the grant you must pay the processing and/or delivery fee via wire transfer or prepaid debit card. Never send money by wire transfer or prepaid debit card to somebody you don’t know or haven’t met in person.

  4. Auto Warranty- You receive a letter in the mail that your auto warranty has expired, but you have a limited amount of time to extend your warranty for a low cost. Often times you’ll receive more than one letter that extends the time for you to get that low price. Check with before purchasing another warranty from a company.

  5. Tech Support- Consumers are being targeted by fraudsters pretending to be well-known tech support companies. Victims are contacted with a message on their computer that a virus has been detected and to “fix” the problem, a phone number or website is given to purchase an anti-virus computer via debit or credit card. Computer manufacturers will not contact you to let you know if there is a problem with your computer.

  6. Phishing/ Smishing- You receive an email or text telling you that you’ve won a contest, a business or someone posing as an official at your place of employment needs to verify your personal information,

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