BBB Releases Top Ten Scams Of 2016

The Better Business Bureau has released its National Top 10 Scams list of 2016.

According to the BBB, Canadians lost more money in 2016 than in the two years preceding it. 

In total, the BBB says scammers took over $90 million from Canadians last year.  

Employment scams earned the top spot on the list followed by online dating scams and identity fraud. 

Communications Manager for the Better Business Bureau, Ashley Casselman, says the majority of these incidents take place online. 

She says one way to help prevent getting swindled online is by changing passwords every few months. 

"Changing your passwords is definitely one of the easiest ways of protecting yourself online," says Casselman. "So just get in the habit of changing it once or twice a year and do not use the same password for everything." 

Casselman says online dating scams are becoming more popular every year. 

"Online dating is very popular," says Casselman. "So that is where you are talking to somebody and they are not who they say they are. You never want to wire money to anyone you have not met, especially if they say they are working overseas and they need money for a flight. That is a big red flag and you should stop communication with them."

She says employment scams are especially popular in the Windsor-Essex region. 

"This is an old scam that has been around for years," says Casselman. "They say they are opening a company in your area, they just need you to buy some furniture and they will send you a cheque for $5,000, buy the stuff and wire us back the remainder. Meanwhile, that cheque bounces and you are going to be out that money you bought for everything and the money you wired to them."

Although the list represents 10 of the most prominent scams in the country, the BBB says nearly 50,000 different types have been reported across North America since 2015.