NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Whether it’s a phishing email or a hacked computer, con artists love using technology to rip people off.

But a new report from the Better Business Bureau found the riskiest scams are often very low-tech, CBS’ Meg Oliver reported.

Last year, Iraq war veteran Peter Webster hired a contractor to renovate his home, handing over $14,000 at the start of the project.

But the contractor only did a little bit of work before disappearing — and keeping the deposit.

“The monies that we had to finish the home and now we’re kind of back to square one with nothing,” Webster said.

Emma Fletcher, of the Better Business Bureau, co-authored a new report on the riskiest scams and found home improvement cons rank number one.

“The truth is this can happen to anyone,” Fletcher said.

Other top rip-offs include employment scams and fake check scams, also known as overpayment scams.

Jordan Lyle was a victim of one of these scams last year. After turning to the Internet to search for work as a nanny, a single mother responded to her post, sending a picture and offering to pay her $1,900 up front.

“She said, ‘I need you to take out the money and then go deposit it into another bank’ and that’s where I thought this is weird,” Lyle said.

In an overpayment scam, a con artist sends a check and asks the victim to deposit it, often offering the victim to keep a percentage and wire the rest back to them.

A few days later, the bank realizes the check is a fake, leaving the victim on the hook for the full amount of the check.

“Just because a check has cleared doesn’t mean you’re in the clear, it can come up as a fake and you’ll be out the money,” Fletcher said.

Luckily for Lyle, she became suspicious and never sent any money.

The Internal Revenue Service is also warning employees to beware of online W-2 phishing scams, where scammers masquerading as executives ask employees for personal tax data in order to steal personal information.

In Connecticut, scammers targeted several local schools, compromising important data for up to 1,300 employees, WCBS 880’s Sean Adams reported.

With your personal information in hand, scammers can open up credit cards, and even file fraudulent tax returns on your behalf.

IRS investigators recommend authenticating any suspicious email before sending over your information.

According to the Better Business Bureau, anyone can fall victim to a scam, but people ages 18-24 are the most likely to lose money.

  1. Today I experienced one of the scariest scams of my lifetime from 512-813-7283 and I feel the need to share so that no one else falls victim to these horrible people who should be put in jail for what they do.
    These people had more information on me than imaginable which led me to believe their claims that I was being sued by the IRS were true.
    Even when I called the phone number back, they answer that they are the Internal Revenue Service. I spent over 45 minutes talking to 1 representative and a supervisor who did their job well in scaring me half to death. They had specific explanation from which tax years my W-2 “miscalculations” were done and even knew that
    I used H&R Block online as my tax filing provider for 5+ years. They told me all of my assets were going to frozen, my drivers license revoked and a warrant issued for my arrest within the next 45 minutes if I didn’t decide to settle outside of court and provide them with the first of many payment installments totalling over $7,000.
    If I decided to settle in court, I was informed I would have to go to Washington DC to fight the IRS and obtain a legal and criminal attorney which would cost upwards of $23,000.
    After pleading, crying, yelling, asking for information in written form etc. they still said if I do not start by making at least a minimum payment of $2,000 today,
    a sheriff will be at my doorstep in 45 minutes to arrest me. I ended the call with, “..well, I guess I’m getting arrested today then” and hung up.
    In fact, I waited for them to hang up on me after they said they couldn’t work with me anymore and I was going to get arrested because if any of this was true,
    it would be recorded and admissible in court and they would see that this was the first time I was hearing about any of this which would help my ‘case’.
    Call me naive or what you will, but I think everyone should be aware of this phone number 512-813-7283 as not to fall victim to any of these horrendous scams.
    They are frightening to anyone and I hope none of you experience anything like this in your lifetime. Or if you do, and especially any IRS scams in particular,
    I’d be more than happy to discuss with you so that you don’t fall victim in the end.
    I also reported this to

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