3 On Your Side
3 On Your Side

Top 10 BBB scams of 2016

Posted: Updated:
Ron Flory lost $40,000 after somebody pretended to be an investor. (Source: 3TV) Ron Flory lost $40,000 after somebody pretended to be an investor. (Source: 3TV)
Fran McGee received a fake check from a scammer for $3,000. (Source: 3TV) Fran McGee received a fake check from a scammer for $3,000. (Source: 3TV)
Kirby Myers was trying to sell a travel trailer but a woman was pretending to be his partner and trying to sell it too. (Source: 3TV) Kirby Myers was trying to sell a travel trailer but a woman was pretending to be his partner and trying to sell it too. (Source: 3TV)

With thousands of new scams appearing every year either online, through email or on social media, The Better Business Bureau has compiled a list of their Top 10 scams of 2016.

"They determined that the check was fraudulent and they believe it was part of a scam," Fran McGee said.

When McGee went online and found a data entry job, little did she know a scammer would be on the other end posing as a potential employer and baiting her with a fake check for $3,000.

[ORIGINAL STORY: Scammers trolling for victims online]

McGee didn't fall for it, but she almost became a victim of what's referred to as "The Employment" scam, a deceptive scheme that for the first time cracked the BBB's Top 10 list.

According to the BBB, the 30,000 complaints were filed to make up the top scams list. Kirby Myers is quite aware of one scam in particular.  

"It was a misrepresentation, it was a scam," Myers said.

Online purchase scams are also a new category that made the Better Business Bureau's list. 3 On Your Side is well aware of the scheme and has profiled people who were actually swindled.

For example, Kirby Myers and Robert Martens were caught up in a Craigslist scam involving a travel trailer for sale a travel trailer that a woman claimed that she owned.

"She posted the pictures on Craigslist representing that she was selling it and representing me as her partner," Myers said.

[ORIGINAL STORY: Valley woman blamed for trail of deceit]

But Myers, the seller, says he's never seen the woman but she certainly convinced Martens, who was the buyer, into handing over a $1,000 deposit.

"I hope she gets caught. I hope she gets caught. I hope everybody else gets their money back too," Martens said.

And another new category that cracked the BBB's Top 10 list was phishing scams.

"He guaranteed me that I'd be a millionaire within a year and a half," Ron Flory said. 

Flory was taken for more than $40,000 after receiving an email from someone claiming to be an investor.

Along with that email was a video.

“I signed up, opened up an account and put $500 in it," Flory said.

"Right after the online presentation?" 3 On Your Side's Gary Harper asked.

"Yeah," Flory replied.

"Didn't really think about it. You just did it?" Harper asked.

"Right," Flory replied.

Flory wound up sending in another $40,000 and lost all of it after the scammer took off with the money.

Matt Boyden is with the FBI and says phishing scams won't be going away soon.

"I think a lot of times, people just want to believe. So, it's easier for the fraudsters to just string you along and tell you what you want to hear," Boyden said.

For a complete list of the top 10 BBB scams of 2016 visit: http://www.bbb.org/phoenix/news-events/news-releases/2017/01/bbbs-top-10-scams-of-2016/

The following link also list tips to avoid scams: http://www.bbb.org/avoidscams/

You can report scams and fraud using the BBB scam tracker: http://www.bbb.org/news-release-bbb-scam-tracker/

Copyright 2017 KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

  • Social Connect

  • Contact

    AZ Family

Gary HarperGary Harper is the senior consumer and investigative reporter for 3 On Your Side at KTVK-TV.

Click to learn more about Gary.

Gary Harper
3 On Your Side

With more than 20 years of television experience, Gary has established himself as a leader in the industry when it comes to assisting viewers and resolving their consumer-related issues. His passion and enthusiasm have helped him earn an Emmy for Best Consumer Reporter from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. He’s also garnered several Emmy nominations

He has negotiated resolutions with companies of all sizes, including some of the biggest corporations in the nation.

Gary has successfully recouped more than $1 million for viewers around the state, making 3 On Your Side one of the most popular segments on KTVK and the station's Web site.

He's best known for investigating and confronting unscrupulous contractors. In fact, many of his news reports have led to police investigations and jail time for those who were caught. Viewers, as well as the companies and people he investigates, regard him as consistently being thorough and fair.

Gary has been with KTVK-TV since 1997. Prior to his arrival in Phoenix, he worked for WZZM-TV in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he was as an anchor and reporter.

Gary is from Chicago, but launched his television career in Lubbock, Texas, after earning a broadcast journalism degree from Texas Tech University. Following his graduation, he was quickly hired by KLBK-TV in Lubbock, where he enterprised and broke numerous exclusive reports. His aggressive reporting in Texas helped garner him Best Reporter by the Associated Press.

Gary has been married since 1994 and is the proud father of two sons. When he's not helping viewers, Gary is busy catching up on his favorite college and professional football teams as well as cheering on his beloved Texas Tech Red Raiders.

Hide bio

Contact 3 On Your Side