The Better Business Bureau estimates nearly 1 in 5 people lose money to a scam each year.
Some of those losses add up to nearly $50 billion.
The BBB and Corp Care have provided News 13 with the Top 5 Scams to avoid in 2017:
1. IRS Scams: Scammers pose as IRS employees and threaten victims with prosecution if they do not send money.
2. Debt Collection Scams: Fake debt collectors call consumers and demand payment, often in a threatening manner.
3. Lottery, Sweepstakes and Gift Scams: Despite increased awareness, thousands of victims continue to fall for lottery and sweepstakes scams each year. Often, scammers will tell victims they won money and ask them to send them money.
4. Employment Scams: Unemployed are seeking work and scammers prey on economic hardships, offering victims work as secret shoppers or promoters who agree to wrap their vehicles with advertising logos. In this case, the scammers will send fake checks for $1,000 and demand $300 back to pay for the wrapping. Soon after, the check will bounce and the victim will have lost $300 to the scammers.
5. Online Purchase Scams: Scammers frequently sell fake merchandise online and pocket the money. If you are buying something online, make sure to use reputable websites and ALWAYS look for the https at the start of the web address in your browser.
We wish you good fortunes this year and be smarter than the scammer, Don’t Be Fooled!