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Top 2016 scams all consumers must know

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From tax collection to tech support, each year more consumers are becoming victimized by scams.

The top scam in Washington for 2016 was the tax collection scam, according to the Better Business Bureau online scam tracking tool.

This particular scam hit consumers when scammers switched from harassing phone calls to fake email notices claiming you owe hundreds of dollars.

Don’t fall for it said IRS Special Agent Ryan Thompson.

“What we’re seeing here is a change in strategy, a change in tactics from the bad guys.  They’ve had one scam, it worked for a while, the word got out that that’s one you don’t want to fall for – for the folks out there in the public – and the bad guys, the fraudsters, have just changed strategies,” explained Thompson

Followed by the tax collection scam, other scams are hitting the northwest, such as:

False online purchases

Sweepstakes lottery and prizes

Debt collection

Government grants

Phishing

Employment scams are next, with fraudsters sending checks to job candidates and telling the victim to cash the check, keep a small amount and send the remainder back.

But there’s one problem, folks.

“It’s a fake check and what they’ve done is that there’s no money in there. And you up covering the check.”

The last scam making the top 2016 scam list is the tech support scam like the Windows 10 scam.

Computer Security Expert Christopher Burgess said thieves send fake Windows update emails. If you click the link your computer will be encrypted unless you pay a heavy ransom.

“Don’t click on anything in an email and if don’t click you won’t get hurt. And if you are going to download Windows 10, you do it from the windows site and nowhere else,” explained Burgess.

If you or a love one believes they may be a victim of a scam contact their local law enforcement and report it to the BBB Scam Tracker. Visit the Better Business Bureau to check out the full list of scams.

 

 

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