Scams, much like viral cat videos, are a staple of the Internet. Even the savviest of Internet users can still get tangled in the web’s latest harmful trick — such as these 10 highlighted from the past year.

The Better Business Bureau has released this infographic, charting the biggest consumer scams of 2011. Their rankings are based on the volume and spikes in complaints, the economic climate and major events exploited by scammers, information collected by its Scam Source, and alerts issued through local BBBs during 2011.

If these scams seem like tricks you’ve seen, don’t fear (too much). To fall victim to a scam, you generally need to actively follow instructions to give away your personal data.


2011 Top 10 Scams

1.       Phishing Scams

2.       Sweepstakes and Lottery Scams

3.       Mail Fraud

4.       Online Merchants

5.       Social Media/Online Dating Scams

6.       Roofing Scams

7.       Job Scams

8.       Timeshare Scams

9.       Penny Auction Websites

10.     Identity Theft




Excerpt from Mashable Business and BBB