MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The Federal Trade Commission said Americans lost nearly $670 million to scams last year. A new report from the Better Business Bureau is ranking the scams where people are most likely to lose money.
Last year, Michael Poling was posting his resume on employment sites looking for work. A company reached out with a customer service position he could do from home.READ MORE: SEE IT: Puppy Back With Owner After Dognapping At West Miami-Dade Animal Clinic Caught On Cam
“Nothing kind of odd about it, or anything like that to me,” he said.
He was sent a check for $5,000 to buy home office equipment and was told to return any money left over.
But when an acquaintance warned him it could be a scam, he didn’t cash the check and reached out to authorities instead.
“They advised me to just stop all contact, just not talk to them, don’t respond to them,” Poling said.
That’s because con artists often ask victims to send back money, only to find out later the check was fake.
Employment scams like this one top the Better Business Bureau’s list of riskiest scams from 2019, with victims losing an average of $1,500.
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“I think there’s a lot of people looking for flexible job opportunities,” said Melissa Trumpower, the executive director at the Better Business Bureau Institute for Marketplace Trust.
She said the Better Business Bureau’s top 10 list includes many scams we’ve seen in the past, including fake money orders, romance and tech support scams.
Better Business Bureau’s Top 10 Riskiest Scams 2019
- Online Purchase
- Fake Money Order
- Advance Fee Loan
- House Improvement
- Tech Support
But there’s a new one for 2019 – cryptocurrency scams.
Con artists are reaching out to people by email or social media offering big returns if they invest in the digital funds.
According to Trumpower,”What happens is they essentially don’t return anything, they take that money, pocket it, and leave you with nothing.”
She said you should always ask questions when someone is asking for money.
“If it sounds too good to be true it probably is and you should do your homework,” Trumpower said.MORE NEWS: Ex-Wife Of Publix Shooter Timothy Wall Frustrated With PBSO Sheriff
That can help keep you from becoming a scam victim.