Today we answer the question: what were the 10 worst scams of 2005?
In fact, we're on the hotseat since we predicted the top 10 scams for 2005 last January. You'll see how we did...
Let's get started...
What Were the 10 Worst Scams of 2005?
It's always hard to select the worst scams for a year, since there is so much to choose from. Nonetheless, here's the Internet ScamBusters' Top 10 List of the Worst Scams of 2005. This is our (unscientific) ranking of the Top 10 Worst Scams of 2005 -- with the help of hindsight:
10. New job postings threats
9. Overpayment scams
8. Advanced fees paid for guaranteed loans or credit cards
7. Disaster scams
6. Nigerian scams
5. Lottery scams
3. Dangerous viruses, worms, and trojans
2. Phishing scams
1. Identity theft
Last January, we wrote an article called: "Internet ScamBusters' Predictions: What are the 10 Biggest Scam Trends You Need to Watch Out for to Stay Safe in 2005?" You can find our list of these top Internet scams here.
PREDICTIONS -- Here were the Top 10 worst scams we predicted for 2005 -- and how accurate we believe our predictions were:
10. New job postings threats (Actual #10)
9. New, more 'creative' variants of the Nigerian scam (Actual #6)
8. Sale of vehicles on auction sites and elsewhere (Actual #9 -- part of overpayment scams)
7. New threats to mobile devices (Didn't make the Actual Top 10 list)
6. New lottery scams (Actual #5)
5. More personal and targeted attacks (Didn't make the Actual Top 10 list)
4. New, more dangerous viruses, worms, and trojans (Actual #3)
3. New spyware threats (Actual #4)
2. More sophisticated phishing scams (Actual #2)
1. Bigger identity theft problems (Actual #1)
We're quite pleased... in fact, we did a lot better than we expected. Our scambusting "crystal ball" didn't fail us. After all, it's always dangerous to make predictions, since you'll almost certainly be wrong. 😉
As you can see, we re-arranged the list a bit. There are three items we didn't include on our prediction list that we believe belong on the worst scams of 2005 list: overpayment scams, disaster scams and advanced fees paid for guaranteed loans or credit cards.
Overpayment scams are a larger category that included the sale of vehicles on auction sites and elsewhere. Disaster scams were not predicted directly -- but were huge with the tsunami, hurricanes and other natural disasters this year. These scams did fall into other predicted categories though, such as identity theft, phishing, viruses, and Nigerian scams.
And, two items did not grow as much as we anticipated in 2005: personal and targeted attacks and new threats to mobile devices.
However, we believe they will grow in 2006, although not necessarily enough to make the Top 10 list.
So there you have it. You can read more about any of these scams on our website. We may well take out our scambusting crystal ball in January and make more predictions for 2006. 😉
That's it for today. We wish you a very Merry Christmas and happy holiday season.