December 22, 2016 Last Updated 1:28 pm

BBB Top Ten Scams of 2016: Tax scam is still #1 despite raid in India

Credit card scams drop off the top ten, while online purchase scams and phishing scams are new to the list

Arlington, VA – December 22, 2016 – Reports to BBB Scam Tracker in 2016 confirmed that tax scams are still the top scam, despite a huge drop in reports after a September police raid in Mumbai, India. The list was compiled based on more than 30,000 scam reports filed by consumers on bbb.org/scamtracker, a free interactive online tool launched last year by the BBB Institute for Marketplace Trust. Not all of those consumers lost money, as many recognized the scam before being victimized but reported it anyway to help warn others.

The top three scams on the 2016 list – tax scams, debt collection scams, and sweepstakes/prizes/gifts scams – were the same as in 2015. New to the top ten are online purchase scams (#4) and phishing scams (#10). Online purchase scams were common in 2015 as well, but this scam type was not added as a BBB Scam Tracker category until 2016. Employment scams (#5) are also new to the top ten, but only because work-from-home scams, previously a separate category, were included. Another change was the drop of tech support scams from #4 last year to #7 this year.

Scam Type

Scam Reports

Percentage

Last Year

Tax Scams (IRS and CRA)

7,530

25.0

24.0

Debt Collections

2,456

8.2

8.3

Sweepstakes/Prizes/Gifts

2,102

7.0

8.0

Online Purchase

1,891

6.3

Employment

1,773

5.9

Government Grant

1,453

4.8

5.7

Tech Support

1,382

4.6

6.0

Advance Fee Loan

965

3.2

3.8

Fake Check/Money Order

872

2.9

2.4

Phishing

776

2.6

BBB encourages consumers to learn how to recognize scams and to avoid them by following these ten simple steps:  bbb.org/avoidscams

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