BBB: Expect the same scams this year

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DENVER -- The top scam didn't change from 2015 to 2016 and likely will be the same this year, the Better Business Bureau said.

Tax scams made up 25 percent of reported scams to the BBB. The next highest are debt collections, which make up only 8.2 percent.

According to Denver Better Business Bureau spokeswoman Krista Ferndelli, most tax scams come as calls where the scammer asks for identification, or indicates the person being targeted owes the IRS money.

"Typically what we see there is, you get a threatening call from the IRS or government agency, telling you have forgotten to pay something," Ferndelli said. "They want you to immediately to update your personal information or give them your checking account information to claim those funds."

Ferndelli said there are many scams out there, but most want the same thing, your personal information or money. She said most people can be targeted. However, with a little skepticism, any trouble can be avoided.

"On a regular basis, you'll get an email that's a little bit off. Or you'll get someone contacting you at work and it sounds official. Or the website even looks right. Take that extra second and make sure it looks right," Ferndelli said.

The scams can be online or even in person.

"We do see people paying up front for work, that never gets done, or a contractor that isn't licensed doesn't return to fix work that's been done on your home," Ferndelli said.

In 2016, FOX31 Problem Solvers did stories on more than a dozen scams across the Denver metro area. The BBB has made 10 pieces of advice to help identify and avoid being scammed.