It’s no secret. If you don’t protect yourself from potential fraudsters, you’re asking for trouble.
Identity thieves are coming up with new, crafty ways to separate you from your identity – and your money.
To highlight some of the most popular scams consumer scam artists are turning to these days, the Better Business Bureau has highlighted the “Top Ten Scams and Rip-Offs of 2010 According to BBB.”
You can read the entire list on the BBB Consumer News and Opinion blog here. But some of the highlights deserve a closer look:
Phone Cramming (#3 on the list): Sneaky little charges have been making their way onto telephone bills and can go unnoticed for months. Victims often face a tough battle to stop being billed every month and start getting their money back.
This is exactly why consumers need to do a better job of reading the fine print – on all their bills, statements and other financial documents. Consumer fraud scam artists are betting you won’t – hence the “cram scam.”
Health Insurance Scams (#4 on the list): In the midst of a tight economy and in the wake of healthcare reform, BBB warns consumers about a surge in healthcare-related scams. BBB advises consumers to do their research before signing up for insurance coverage because their personal and financial health is on the line.
Health care reform promises to be a bonanza for fraud thieves. Like the BBB says, make sure you vet any health care provider who wants to sell you health care. Use the BBB Directory to check them out, and especially look out for consumer complaints against such companies.
Phishing/Vishing/Smishing (#7 on the list): The phone, email, or text messages will typically say that there is a problem with your account, and in order reactivate or verify the account, you must call the number provided. BBB advises consumers to look up the phone number for your bank, then call to see if there has indeed been a problem.
[Related: How to Spot, and Avoid, Internet Scammers]
This is a no-brainer. When it comes to people asking for your critical account information, we have five words for you: “Never trust, and always verify!” Once a “phisher” gets a hold of your bank account number, it’s all over but the crying.
As we said, the entire list is well worth a look. But keep the focus on the “Big Three” listed above – and you’ll take a big step in making sure you stay one step ahead of these scams.
If you are the victim of any scams mentioned in the BBB report, the agency asks that you call the BBB Hotline at 903-581-8373 to report the scam.