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Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Top 10 Internet Scams of 2006

The National Consumers League reports its top 10 Internet scams and top 10 telemarketing scams (for what they are worth).

Among the Internet scams, the top three are actually reasonable scams in the sense that the scammed might have little reason to smell a rat:

1. Auctions in which goods are not delivered.
2. General merchandise sales in which goods are not delivered.
3. Bad checks in which payment is made with fraudulent means.

The remaining top 10 internet scams range from #4 - Nigerian money scams (in which the average complainant loses approximately $3700!!) to #10 - bad investment advice.

How old are the suckers? Surprisingly 75% of all complainants are between the ages of 20 and 50 (although there might be selection bias here - the very young and very old might not report their suckerness).

More here

Where do the scammers live? 38% reportedly live outside of the United States. However, fully 10% of the scammers live in California. As California has roughly 10% of the country's population and approximately 40% of all scammers live outside of the U.S., this would imply that California should have approximately 6% of scammers. Therefore the 10% figure suggests California has more than its "fair share" of scammers.

Where do the suckers live? Supposedly the top five states for complainants (relative to the local population) are Nevada, Colorado, Wyoming, Maine and Alaska.

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