Top scams of 2012
Americans had to be on guard again this year. There were plenty of scammers trying to cheat them out of their money.
Consumer Affairs came up with a top ten list of the most prevalent scams from this past year.
Number ten is timeshare resales, involving companies that promised to sell timeshare units, but didn't. NIne is fake debt collectors, who call you, claiming you're delinquent on a payday loan.
Eight is apartment rentals, which involves online ads from a scammer, claiming to own a vacant property. Seven is business opportunities, specifically get-rich-quick schemes.
Six is text scams, usually telling you you're the winner of a gift card and to redeem it, you must click on a link that usually leads to malware or some sort of virus. Five is fake charity solicitors.
Four is government agency impersonators, which usually try tricking you into turning over banking info and other sensitive data. Three is cellphone cramming, which are fraudulent fees found on your phone bill.
Two is credit repair, debt relief companies who charge large fees, but never provide any real financial relief. And number one on the list is mortgage scams. There are many versions of this, but all of them target distressed homeowners who are in danger of losing their homes to foreclosure.