As we move into the New Year, the Better Business Bureau has tallied the 2015 top scams with the help of Scam Tracker.
Investigators collected reports from more than 10,000 consumers nationwide and processed the data using a heat map so that users can see what scams are happening in their area.
“Scammers are elusive,” Alaska, Oregon and Western Washington Better Business Bureau CEO and President Tyler Andrew said. “With Scam Tracker, consumers and law enforcement can track fraud in real time and report it so that no one else falls victim.”
The top 5 scams hitting Oregon are:
- IRS Scam. Consumers receive threatening phone calls from someone claiming to be with the IRS. The caller tells the consumer he owes taxes to the government and will be thrown in jail unless he pays. The IRS says they never call people who owe money; instead, they notify debtors via mail.
- Imposter Scam. Like the IRS scam, fraudsters pose as a federal agent or law enforcement and then contact unsuspecting consumers to try and obtain their personal information. If the scammers succeed, they’re able to steal identities and commit fraud.
- Debt Collections. Fake collection agencies call and claim consumers owe credit card debt. They try to gather personal information such as Social Security and bank account numbers.
- Tech support. Scammers tell consumers their computers have been hacked and they need to gain access in order to fix it. The scammers end up downloading malware or stealing personal information.
- Sweepstakes. “You’ve won millions!” That’s the bait from lottery and sweepstakes scams. The caller tells the “winner” all they need to do is pay a few thousand dollars in taxes and fees, then the jackpot is theirs keep. Often the consumer never entered the contest to begin with. Genuine lotteries simply subtract any fees or taxes from the prize.
Nationally, BBB Scam Tracker also reported the IRS scam at the top. Phony debt collectors, sweepstakes, tech support and the government grant scam rounded off the top five. For a complete list visit BBB’s Top Ten Scams of 2015.
Visit bbb.org for business information and visit Scam Tracker to learn about scams in your area or provide information about a scam.
About the Better Business Bureau
For more than 100 years, Better Business Bureau has been helping people find businesses, brands and charities they can trust. BBB serving Alaska, Oregon and Western Washington, founded in 1918 and serving more than 9 million consumers, is one of 113 local, independent BBBs in the United States, Canada and Mexico.
In 2014, people turned to BBB serving Alaska, Oregon and Western Washington more than 5 million times for BBB Business Reviews on more than 264,000 local businesses and for Charity Reports on more than 1,200 local charities, all available for free at akorww.bbb.org.