BBB Hot Topics: June 2012

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  A list of hot topics by the Better Business Bureau for the month of June 2012. For more information visit www.bbb.org.

1.    Beware of the Microsoft Scam! Local consumers tell BBB they are getting calls from people who say they are with Microsoft. These scammers are telling consumers they could be hacked then they offer extra security for a fee. That’s when they steal the victim’s personal information.

2.    BBB warns Rental Scams are on the rise. Scammers pose as landlords on sites like Craigslist. The scammer uses a real address, offers a great price, asks for personal information, and then asks the renter to wire money for a security deposit. These scammers frequently claim to be out of the country.

3.    Beware of Green Dot MoneyPak Scams! A local man was told he won a Publisher’s Clearinghouse Sweepstakes, but he had to pay a fee upfront with a Green Dot MoneyPak card to get his winnings. The scammers told him to buy the card and put $299 on it for the fees. The scammer then asked for the 14-digit code on the back of the card. That’s when the crooks transfer the funds to their own debit cards, typically owned under stolen identities.

4.    The latestFacebook Scam comes in the form of a fake account cancellation email. The scam starts with an email that reads, “account cancellation request.” The recipient is urged to follow a link to cancel the request. The link appears to go to a facebook.com address, but it really links to a third-party application running on the FB platform. It tricks FB users into installing malware on their computer.

5.    Consumers nationwide are finding charges for $19.95 or more on their credit or bank statements for Credit Reports they never ordered. The charges appear to be from Experian, Consumerinfo.com, or creditreport.com. Falsely charged consumers who contacted Experian learned their card number was used to purchase a credit report for another person. The false charges likely stemmed from a security breach.

6.    Chase Scam: A local man received an email that appeared to be from Chase Bank. The email claimed someone was using an invalid login in an effort to get into his account. The email asked him to click on a link to update his account information. This is a scam. Don’t click on links in suspicious emails. If you have a question about your account, contact the company directly.

7.    Beware of summer job scams! Many internet and newspaper ads offer big bucks for no experience. Other scams request up-front fees (often wired) for the job. BBB cautions: don’t fall for high-pressure tactics, request all details in writing, and check out the business with the BBB at www.bbb.org.

8.    Beware of emails that claim to be about a hotel booking that you never made. You could end up putting your computer at risk. The email claims to be a confirmation from the booking.com website, and reads, “hotel booking confirmation.” Clicking on the attachment in the email could infect your computer with malware.

9.    Malware is being installed on Travelers’ Laptops through software updates on hotel internet connections. The traveler attempts to set up the hotel room Internet connection and is presented with a pop-up window offering to update a widely-used software product. If the user clicks to accept, malicious software is installed on the computer.

10.   Don’t fall victim to a Father’s Day shopping scam! Check out the business first at www.bbb.org. Before you buy, get information on refunds, exchanges, and warranties in writing, and get a gift receipt in case Dad needs to return the item!

11.   Savemore.com has an “F” rating with BBB. Nearly 1500 complaints have been filed against the business for non-delivery of gift cards, problems with products, and difficulties getting in touch with the business.

12.   Expect an influx of malware, fake mobile apps, and online scams as the 2012 Summer Olympics approaches. Some scams include “lottery notifications” related to the Olympics, early check-in’s, and free tickets.