Tuesday, February 05, 2019

Better Business Bureau Tool to Track, Report and Educate the Common Person on Scams

The BBB Scam Tracker is a robust interactive tool to track fraudulent activity in throughout North America. The data I viewed from Mexico seems to be minimal at this point, although this might be because Mexico was added after the United States and Canada.

The site collects data from users, who were the victims of a scam, or from smart people who figured out someone was trying to scam them.

The tool enables the user to search potential fraudulent activity by keyword, type of scam, location, and time frame. Please note that scams are most successful when they hit a new geographical area because the "word is not out yet." Because of this, scammers frequently travel and even rotate the particular scam in order to catch innocent people/businesses off guard. Just because the particular scam is not showing up in your geographical area doesn't mean that it won't knock on your doorstep tomorrow.

The scam activities tracked include home repair, tree trimming, tax, advance fee, job, lottery, collection, counterfeit checks, bogus credit cards, vishing, phishing, and identity theft. There is even an "other" category to cover anything that is a previously unknown activity. New scams are hatched all the time. The main thing all scams have in common is that they are "too good to be true."

The data collected is provided to the National Cyber-Forensics and Training Alliance, who in turns shares it with law enforcement, 

Here is a link to the BBB Scam Tracker. Scammers count on people not taking the time to report their activity (assuming they do not fall for it). Reporting it is a good deed because it protects other people.

The BBB also has a video on YouTube on this tool, if you would like to watch it.

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