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Jan 4, 2011 7:36 PM

BBB releases top 10 scams of 2010

TUCSON - The Better Business Bureau of Southern Arizona has released a list of the top 10 scams and rip-offs of 2010. Due to a struggling economy, job hunters and desperate debtors were targets for hackers and hustlers last year.

The BBB says scammers targeting job hunters attempted to access personal information such as bank accounts and social security numbers. Some companies required job seekers to pay a fee to even be considered for a job.

Another target in 2010: people in debt. Third-party debt relief companies often require upfront fees, and can often leave the consumer in even further debt than when they started. Complaints about these companies increased about 30 percent in 2010, according to the BBB.

Among the other scams that the BBB has highlighted as most prevalent in 2010:

-Work from Home Schemes - The promise of making money online from home lured unknowning marks into some outrageous propositions, for instance: mystery shopping, and assembling items and mailing them in. Some of these schemes actually had oblivious parties fencing stolen goods.

-Timeshare Resellers: The BBB continued to receive a litany of complaints about the timeshare industry. Complaints about deceptive timeshare resellers increased 40 percent in 2010, the BBB estimates.

-"Free" Trial Offers: Misleading offers for free trials of diet supplements, penny auctions and money-making schemes resulted in thousands of complaints last year - the offers may seem no-risk, but automatic monthly billing and difficult cancellation conditions are often costly to consumers.

For a complete list of the top 10 scams of 2010, click here.

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