BBB releases list of top scams of 2012 - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

BBB releases list of top scams of 2012

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By Brenda Buttner, FOX News

First Lady Michelle Obama is the latest public figure to have her social security number leaked online by a web site posting private data.

The identity thieves are changing their game -- coming up with new ways to get their hands on your personal information, including going after your cell phone.

The feds are cracking down on mobile spammers and the Federal Trade Commission recently filed complaints against 29 defendants -- this for sending 180 million unwanted text messages to consumers.

"Your phone is buzzing at you or beeping at you to get your attention -- you'll take it out you'll look at it right away.  And also people are far more likely if they get a link in the message to click on that link," said Cloudmark researcher Andrew Conway.

Scammers can get to you in a variety of ways, not just via text message.

The top scams of 2012 according to the Better Business Bureau:

5. A Phishing scam saying President Obama will pay your utility bills. 

Consumers received e-mails and even in-person solicitations, telling them about a new government program.  It's not true though  -- and victims gave their information to an official-looking web site.

4. Non-existent loans.

You've seen the ads for things like no credit checks or no interest.  You pay up front for "insurance" purposes and they have you.

 3. Mystery shopping.

It's an employment scam offering a dream job for a price.

 2. The grandparents scam.

This is an oldie, but goodie -- it's when you get an e-mail or text saying a family member who is traveling has been arrested or hurt and needs money right away.  The difference now, thanks to social media -- scammers can tell when someone is actually on vacation.

 1. Car ads.

There's an online ad going around offering you $400 a week if you'll drive around with a company's logo on your car.  They send you a check, which you deposit in your bank account and send some to a graphic designer.  But a week later, it bounces and that designer no longer exists.

To see more of the scams out there, go to


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