Better Business Bureau investigates thousands of scams every year, from the latest gimmicks to schemes as old as the hills. This year, they have divided scams up into nine major categories (from jobs and dating to phishing and identity theft) and picked the top scam in each.

The year’s top financial scam centered on mortgage relief programs. According to BBB, “In challenging economic times, many people are looking for help getting out of debt or hanging on to their home, and almost as many scammers appear to take advantage of desperate situations. Because the federal government announced or expanded several mortgage relief programs this year, all kinds of sound-alike websites have popped up to try to fool consumers into parting with their money. Some sound like a government agency, or even part of BBB or other nonprofit consumer organization. Most ask for an upfront fee to help you deal with your mortgage company or the government (services you could easily do yourself for free), and almost all leave you in more debt than when you started.”

Click here to read the full list: Better Business Bureau Names Top Scams of 2011.