Our colleagues at the National Consumers League have produced a report, available at their fraud.org site, on the top 10 scams of 2018.  You can check out the report here.

The report had a lot of interesting findings.  Internet merchandise, defined as goods purchased online either never being delivered or misrepresented, was the most common scam overall.

The Internet has surpassed the phone as the most common medium to be contacted for scams.  Whether it’s online shopping, fake prizes, phishing scams, or tech support offers, scammers are increasingly attacking consumers online rather than over the phone or through the mail.

The fastest-growing scam is friendship/romance scams — They increased by 45 percent over the previous year, which was the biggest gain of any of the top 10.  These scams target people through social networks and dating sites, seeking a bond of friendship or romance, but ultimately resulting in requests for money.  Beware if someone you met online abruptly asks you for money — It’s very possible they’ve been running a scam to manipulate you.

While wire transfers and credit cards are still the most common forms of payment requested by scammers, pre-paid gift cards are surging in popularity, thanks to the fact that they are easily obtained and effectively untraceable.  Call For Action has pointed this out before:  Prepaid gift cards are meant to be gifts for family and friends.  Anyone who asks you to give them a gift card as a form of payment is running a scam.

Fraud.org has a longer write-up here, where they explain the top 10 scams and how to avoid them.

To submit your consumer complaint, use our online form.