Scammer ingenuity knows no bounds. In 2010, as in years past, more criminals are taking the trouble to craft schemes, fudge websites, and get rich
off the tight economy and the consumer desperation that goes along with it. But while it may be easier for them to find victims in this new era of frugality and bargain shopping, watchfulness and a healthy dose of skepticism can keep you from getting caught in their net. Here we give you an unscientific yet tried-and-true list of the top ten scams to look out for, as well as some advice on how to stay cool when con artists turn on the heat.
"Free trial" scams
Deceptive "free trial" offers topped the list of consumer trust abuses in 2009, and according to the Better Business Bureau,
companies that peddle diet pills, teeth whitening strips, wrinkle creams, "free" government grant reports, anti-aging miracles and other purported something-for-nothings show no sign of slowing down. A recent campaign by the Federal Trade Commission to dampen such efforts has led some online marketers to make more visible the actual terms and charges hidden in such offers. The poster product of this genre of scams could likely be the much-hyped Acai berry.