The National Consumers League has just released data on the top 10 complaints they received in 2016. You can find it here. A few points to mention about their data, and some useful tips.
• #1 overall was things ordered over the internet that were paid for but never received. This includes used cars, counterfeit designer or sports goods, event tickets, and pets.
• #2 was sweepstakes and lottery fraud, such as Jamaican lottery fraud.
• #3 was fraud involving fake checks. These were up by 1/3 from 2015.
• #4 was demands for money that you really don’t really owe, such as IRS impersonators.
• # 5 was tech support fraud, wanting money to fix supposed problems with your computer.
• Average losses for these fraud complaints doubled from the year before, with the biggest losses coming from romance scams.
• The age range with the most complains were victims 26-35 years old
• Before paying money to any business check them out with the Better Business Bureau. The BBB has reports on essentially ALL real businesses, not just members. It is easy to check in advance. Go to BBB.org.
• Especially if you are buying on line never pay any way other than by credit card. If you use a credit card you may be able to get your money back if it is a fraud. Anyone who will not take a credit card is very likely a fraud.
• Never pay for anything by buying gift cards.
The National Consumers League takes consumer complaints on line and shares them with law enforcement in the US and Canada. They also download these complaints into the FTC’s Consumer Sentinel Database. Many of these are internet-based complaints, often from around the world. You can file a complaint with them here.