Scammers focus on teens and online love 0
Cellphone-glued teenagers, lonely souls searching for love online, and those looking to buy used cars are the latest popular targets of scammers in the Better Business Bureau’s annual list of offers you should refuse.
The first scam targets young people, enticing them by text message offers of free gift cards, often to big-name electronics stores. The offers are rarely genuine, BBB president Danielle Primrose told reporters Tuesday, and recipients are often duped of their personal information.
Another common con has already broken the hearts of 1,047 victims this year and lightened their wallets considerably — in one case, by $200,000.
The scam works by enticing victims to fall in love with a scammer online. But something keeps the lovebirds apart, either financial or family trouble, unless money is wired over to fix the problem. That scam has cost victims $14.8 million this year.
The third is an example of deals too good to be true. Especially after Hurricane Sandy, submerged or damaged cars are being “fixed” and sent across Canadian borders as working vehicles, according to the Motor Vehicle Sales Authority of B.C.’s Doug Longhurst.
They’re tidied to look nice, he said, but internal parts are often damaged. It’s estimated approximately half of B.C.’s private used-car sales come from these so-called “curb car” dealers.
Even the BBB’s name itself was used in a string of email scams. Hundreds of thousands of people online have received a “complaint against your business” notice from senders claiming to be from the bureau.
They’re not actually from the BBB. In fact, it’s a virus.
- 1047 romance scam victims
- $11.7 million in investment dupes
- 4,499 complaints of scam sales
- $3.7 million lost to “foreign money” cons