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The top 10 scams of 2016

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Many fraud scams involve employment opportunities and online dating

Lower Mainland BBB releases list of most common scams

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – The Better Business Bureau is out with its top ten list of scams from last year. “It comes for all ages, all demographics, there’s a scam for everybody, ” explains Danielle Primrose with the consumer protection group.

The number one scam is usually when someone offers you a job without you ever having to apply. “It’s just a cheque cashing scheme, that’s all it is, and it’s too good to be true.”

Number two on the list involves “catfishing,” where scammers try to loot the wallets of the lonely looking for love. “Do not wire money to anybody that you have never met in person,” she says. “There are always reasons why they can’t meet you in person, but they want money from you.”

There was more money taken through online dating scams than employment scams, but it didn’t have the same amount of complaints.

Here is the complete list from the Better Business Bureau

1. Employment Scams – $5.3 million reported
2. Online Dating Scams – $17 million reported
3. Identity Fraud – $11 million reported
4. Advance Fee Loans – $1.1 million reported
5. Online Purchase Scams – $8.6 million reported
6. Wire Fraud – Spearphishing – $13 million reported
7. Binary Option Scams – $7.5 million reported
8. Fake Lottery Winnings – $3 million reported
9. Canada Revenue Agency Scam – $4.3 million reported
10. Fake Online Endorsements – $Unknown

There was some good news though as the Canada Revenue Agency scam that topped the 2015 list has dropped significantly to number nine.

In total scams took more than $90 million out of Canadian wallets in 2016, a sharp increase over 2015’s numbers.

“The positive takeaway right now, is that there appears to be more reporting going on which would explain some of the increase in money lost,” says Primrose, “But at the end of the day it still only represents at most 5 per cent of what was actually taken from Canadians. There is a lot more work to be done and a lot more awareness to be raised and a lot more reporting to do. Don’t be ashamed, let someone know if you’ve been scammed.”

The consumer protection group is also launching the second annual ‘National BBB Password Day’ on March 15th.