BBB of MN & ND Releases Top Scams for Regional and National Consumers
In 2018 alone, more than 900 consumers filed reports in Minnesota and North Dakota on the BBB's Scam Tracker
The Better Business Bureau of Minnesota and North Dakota is shedding some light on 2018’s top 10 scams for both our area and the entire U.S.
In 2018 alone, more than 900 consumers filed reports in Minnesota and North Dakota on the Better Business Bureau’s Scam Tracker.
Nearly 20 percent of those scams included online purchases.
“One of the big ones we are seeing right now is peopling trying to buy cars online and most of it is through sites like Craigslist or Autotrader,” Better Business Bureau of Minnesota and North Dakota communications director Bess Ellenson said. “They contact the seller, the seller communicates with them, it all seems legitimate.”
It all seems that way until the consumer is left with empty pockets and no car.
“A lot of people catch on to the fact that it’s a scam before they send any money, but if you go through and wire the money, you’re out the money, the person trying to sell the vehicle to you completely disappears, and you don’t ever receive a vehicle,” Ellenson said.
For Minnesota and North Dakota, phishing and employment scams ranked the second and third highest.
Other scams dealt with credit cards, social security, and fake checks.
The BBB says the seller not wanting to speak over the phone and asking to use a pre–paid debit card are some red flags.
“You always want to do your research,” Ellenson said. “Make sure you’re buying from a trustworthy site.”
Employment scams ranked the highest in 2018 for the U.S and Canada, which included more than 50,000 reports.
With input from consumers, the BBB is able to hone in on the problem areas.
“It does help us keep track of any trends that are happening in our area,” Ellenson said. “I mean you can see what’s going on nationally.”
The BBB shares this information with law enforcement who can then work to prevent these types of scams.