BBB names top scams of 2018

Better Business Bureau of Minnesota and North Dakota


Better Business Bureau of Minnesota and North Dakota has compiled a list of the top 10 scams of 2018 that were reported to BBB’s Scam Tracker. Online purchasing scams had the most reports out of the more than 800 reports filed last year in Minnesota, followed by phishing and employment scams. Employment scams topped the list of the more than 50,000 scam reports published in the United States and Canada.

Most of the online purchasing scams involved a buyer ordering and paying for an item and never receiving it. These items include automobiles, pets, tickets, clothing and cosmetics. The items are often found for sale on sites such as Craigslist, eBay, Facebook and other direct seller-to-buyer sites. Online purchasing scams came in at number two in 2017 in Minnesota.

Top 10 scams of 2018 in Minnesota:

1. Online purchases

2. Phishing

3. Social Security and tax/IRS collection schemes

4. Employment scams

5. Tech support scams

6. Debt collection scams

7. Fake checks/money orders

8. Counterfeit products

9. Fake invoices

10. Identity theft


Top 10 scams of 2018 in the United States/Canada:

1. Employment scams

2. Online purchases

3. Fake checks/money orders

4. Home improvement scams

5. Advanced fee loan 

6. Romance scams

7. Tech support scams

8. Investment scams

9. Travel/vacation scams

10. Government grant scams


BBB Scam Tracker was launched in North America in 2015. Since that time, it has received nearly 150,000 reports of suspect offers, fraud or attempted fraud. BBB staffers review all submissions to the site in order to watch for patterns and ensure the submissions are authentic. 

Reports that involve legitimate businesses are converted to complaints. Scam Tracker also gives people the ability to see where scams are occurring locally and nationally and allows them to search for fraudulent activity by keyword or within geographic regions. 

Even if consumers or business owners don’t fall victim to schemes they’re confronted with, they’re encouraged to file a report through BBB Scam Tracker. Data collected through these reports is compiled and shared with law enforcement who, with enough information, may be able to take steps to shut down fraudulent websites and illicit operations.  

For the full report, go to To report a scam, go to To learn more about different scam types, go to


With more than 7,200 regionally accredited businesses, BBB of Minnesota and North Dakota is a not-for-profit organization. The mission of BBB is to promote, through self-regulation, the highest standards of business ethics and conduct, and to instill public confidence in responsible businesses through programs of education and action that inform, protect and assist the public. 

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