The Top Ten Scams in 2012 list, recently released by the Better Business Bureau (BBB), along with the BC Crime Prevention Society and the Vancouver Police Department, won’t shock you. Your pulse will stay steady. Your eyebrows will remain stationary. You may even intone, “Duuuuuh.”
I’m going to go ahead and paraphrase the scams nonetheless, in case you’re particularly vulnerable, or know someone who is. Note: I’m playfully sarcastic for everything on the list except financial elder abuse (#4) which you should take quite seriously.
Top Ten Scams in 2012
1. Brand Spoofing: Watch out for it. If you receive a weekly email from Pitsilano.ca instead Kitsilano.ca, don’t open it.
2. Like guilt-free chocolate and the tooth fairy, advance fee loans do not exist. It is illegal for a company to charge a fee in advance to obtain a loan.
3. Avoid gold buying scemes. If you insist on doing it, get multiple appraisals.
4. Financial elder abuse (this one is serious) means seniors should be especially cautious when financial planning. Seniors are the most targeted demographic and they are often targeted by someone they know.
5. Power Saving Claims
The switch to Smart Meters in B.C. caused a spike in false claims. Do your homework before buying “saving” devices.
6. Door-to-Door Sales
Each year a variety of unscrupulous door-to-door salespeople use high pressure sales tactics. It’s okay to say no. And close the door.
7. Virus Fixing Scheme
Scenario: An alleged “Microsoft” rep phones claiming to have heard about a serious problem with your computer. Right. When has customer service ever been that good?
8. Fraudulent locksmiths are dangerous and duplicitous. If they’re legit, the locksmith will be licensed through the Ministry of Public Safety & Solicitor General.
9. Online penny auctions are a hoax. Seriously. iPads cost at least 50 cents.
10. Anti-Social Network: When you receive a tweet saying someone wrote a slanderous blog about you, shake it off. Resist the urge to click. This isn’t a scene from Mean Girls.
Last modified: January 6, 2012