The Federal Trade Commission released a report today which applies some figures to the scams and frauds which American’s fell victim to most often in 2005 –
- Fraudulent Weight-Loss Products (4.8 million victims)
- Foreign Lottery Scams (3.2 million victims)
- Unauthorized Billing – Buyers Clubs (3.2 million victims)
- Prize Promotions (2.7 million victims)
- Work-at-Home Programs (2.4 million victims)
- Credit Card Insurance (2.1 million victims)
- Unauthorized Billing – Internet Services (1.8 million victims)
- Advance-Fee Loans (1.7 million victims)
- Credit Repair Scams (1.2 million victims)
- Business Opportunities (0.8 million victims)
The report then goes on to offer some advice to the 30.2 million victims (13.5% of the adult population). Though basic, their suggestions include –
- Know who you’re dealing with: Do business only with companies that plainly provide their name, street address, and phone number
- Take your time: Resist the urge to act now. Most any offer that’s good today will be good tomorrow, too.
- Free means free: Throw out any offer that says you have to pay to get a gift or for something that’s called “free.” If something is free or a gift, you shouldn’t have to pay for it.
Of course, you could always find more detailed advice about scams and fraud here