Have you ever been tempted to sign up for one of those free trial offers you see advertised online? Lots of people have and then fallen victim to what's become a huge scam. Here's a look at the biggest scams in the last year.
There are a lot of familiar scams on the Better Business Bureau's just released list of riskiest scams which is based on more than 47,000 complaints to the BBB from consumers across the country in the last year.
Topping the list is online purchase scams. You sign up for a free trial offer of something like cosmetics or nutrition products and soon you're getting charged for regular shipments that you don't want.
Number two: investment scams which tend to target older consumers and lead to greater losses.
That's followed by employment scams, advance fee loan scams, fake check scams, home improvement scams, tech support scams, travel/vacation scams, family/friend emergency scams, and government grant scams.
We've been warning you about a lot of these for years.
What's interesting is that while home improvement scams have topped this list in the past. This year, it's dropped significantly, down to number six, and that's despite all of the hurricanes last year which normally create a jump in home repair scam complaints.
And the good news in all of this, according to the BBB, is that their data shows the number of people who lost money to a scam, dropped slightly, and the average amount of money lost dropped as well. Last year, it was $228.
Regardless of the scam, scammers often promise something that's too good to be true, or they pressure you to act now or you'll miss out, or they try to intimidate or threaten you, saying you're under investigation and you'll be arrested if you don't send money. All of those are important things to remember so you don't fall victim.
For more information on scams and how to avoid them, visit the BBB online.