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Check out the latest scams and bad business in BBB’s July 2014 Hot Topics!
1. BBB is receiving calls from local consumers saying they are getting calls from themselves! Scammers are using Spoofing Technology to impersonate businesses, police departments, and your own number! The technology is used to get victims to pick up the phone when they normally wouldn’t answer an unfamiliar number. Victims report the scammers are trying to get their personal information.
2. The Microsoft Tech Support Scam is making its rounds again! Local consumers report scammers who claim to be with Microsoft say their computer has a virus, and they need to log in remotely to fix the problem. After logging in, the scammer has access to everything on the computer including personal information. They also have the ability to install malicious malware that can harm your computer.
3. If you receive an email from Amazon with an attached invoice and you didn’t purchase anything, it could be a virus! Do not open the attachment! Go directly to your Amazon login for information on any orders you have placed!
4. Scammers are calling local residents, saying their Utility Services are about to be cut because their bill was not paid. The scammer asks for immediate payment, via wire services. If you receive a similar call, hang up and contact your utility company directly.
5. Scammers send an email, pretending to be Members of the Military, telling victims they have funds they need to move out of the country they are serving in. Don’t be fooled! This is just a ruse to access of your personal information – and your money!
6. Don’t give any of your tax information out to callers claiming to be from the US Treasury or Department of Legal Affairs. Scammers have been calling victims and impersonating government agencies in order to get your personal information. Hang up the phone!
7. Scammers are calling consumers, telling them they have won a $395,000 prize from Readers Digest. All the consumer must do is wire money for handling! The “winners” are being told they either “entered the contest in their local market, or pay their bills on time.” This is a scam!
8. Beware of Fake Work-from-Home Jobs online. Organized crime gangs have been scamming victims out of thousands of dollars by “hiring” them to buy big-ticket items and getting reimbursed later. Unfortunately, the reimbursements are often stolen funds. Once the scam is realized, the victim is made to repay the stolen money and in some cases, face criminal charges.
9. Chances are you think your child is the cutest out there, and scammers know it! A new scam is targeting parents and grandparents. The Cutest Baby Photo Contest Scam gives victims a chance to enter a photo contest for a fee. The scam continues when they announce you to be the winner and give you the option to pay a larger fee in order to get a copy of a “cutest baby” book. The only people the book goes to are the people who pay!
10. Renting a Car? Know what’s in the contract! BBB receives numerous complaints against the auto renting industry every year because of billing and contract issues. Tips: Shop around, look for hidden charges, ask about unlimited mileage, and avoid additional charges by bringing your own car seat and GPS.