I found this article to share from the Chicago Better Business Bureau.

Scammers in 2009 followed the financial woes of individuals as they preyed on people’s difficult economic conditions and concerns about the general economy, according to the Better Business Bureau’s summary of dishonest business dealings for the past year.

“We’ve seen scammers follow the money trail and target the desperate emotions of people,” said Steve J. Bernas, president and CEO of the Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and Northern Illinois.  “This year the Top 3 scams were directly related to personal finances.  Almost two-thirds of all scams for 2009, in terms of the number of web searches and inquiries were: #1 Work-At-Home schemes, #2 Credit Repair scams, and #3 Grant Locating and Government Job-Finding offers.”

This listing is based on the number of times people requested information and inquiries through personal phone calls or the BBB website, as well as complaints.  These instances of service by the Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and Northern Illinois, including inquiries and complaints about specific businesses, totaled a record-setting 9 million.

“We believe the reason we hear more about these Top 3 scams is because people actually lose money on these and then complain, rather than being tempted by deals and checking them out before sending money,” explained Bernas.  “Typically these scams encourage people to send in money first before they receive any materials and information. This type of offer usually ends badly for people, who never get their money back.”

The list of the Top 10 most common scams in 2009 include:

  1. Work-At-Home schemes
  2. Credit Repair scams
  3. Grant Locating and Government Job-Finding offers
  4. Mortgage Foreclosure Rescue deals
  5. Check Collection scams
  6. Advance-Fee Lending
  7. Mystery Shopper offers
  8. Phony Directory solicitations
  9. “Free Trials” that are not free
  10. Phishing, Smishing, Fake E-Cards and other ways to obtain ID information

Tomorrow we will start taking a look at what these scams are.