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BBB Hot Topics: October 2011

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By Better Business Bureau

 Check out the latest scams and bad business in BBB’s October 2011 Hot Topics!

1.    Job seekers, beware of Reshipping Scams! In this scam, foreign criminals purchase merchandise with a stolen or fake credit card and then hire U.S. citizens to have it shipped to their country. These jobs are posted on online job sites and in newspapers.

2.    Scammers that claim to be withUS Cash Advance are calling KY consumers and accusing them of defaulting on a payday loan and claim they are being sued. The phony debt collector threatens that, if the victim doesn’t pay as much as $1,000 immediately via wire or by providing bank account or credit card numbers, he or she will be arrested. The scammers often have personal information. US Cash Advance does not collect payments over the phone.

3.    If you get an email from the IRS stating unreported/underreported income, this is a scam! The email asks you to download your tax statement from the IRS website, and then it gives you a fake link. This is a phishing scam! Delete the email. The IRS does not contact taxpayers via email!

4.    Protect Your Identity Week is October 16 – 22, 2011. BBB is teaming up with other organizations to remind you to protect your identity! BBB is having a free shred event October 22 from 6 am to NOON at the Kroger in Middletown, 12501 Shelbyville Road, Louisville. Consumers can bring up to 3 boxes or bags and can also drop off cell phones for recycling. Call BBB for more information.

5.    Many businesses are marketingPink Ribbon products and services to support a cure for breast cancer. BBB reminds you to research donation claims before making a purchase. Identify the charity receiving the donation and find out what percentage of the donation actually goes to the cause. Be cautious of any solicitations over the phone. To check out a charity go to www.bbb.org/charity.

6.    Do not get spooked byHalloween Boutiques! Many of these shops and online stores are seasonal. To avoid being haunted, ask the company for its physical address and phone number. Check out the company at www.bbb.org;understand the refund and exchange policy; shipping charges; and provide credit card information on a secure site.

7.    Don’t fall for this Disney World Scam if you are headed there for fall break! Guests in hotels around the theme park find pizza delivery menus slipped under their door. They place an order and give their credit card number. The pizza never arrives and identity thieves get their information! Craving a slice? Ask the front desk at the hotel!

8.    Coca Cola is not sending out text messages, emails, or letters stating you have won a sweepstakes from the company! The text and email asks recipients to go to a fake website to reveal personal information and the letter looks official and contains a fake check. Don’t cash it, and never wire money to someone you don’t know!

9.    Scammers are posing as Kelley Blue Book online. Scammers are soliciting funds from buyers via an escrow-based, guaranteed buyer-protection program, which Kelley Blue Book does not offer. The scammer says they have to sell the car fast because they are being deployed. The seller instructs the buyer to wire a partial payment to a third-party, such as Kelley Blue Book. By the time the buyer realizes what has happened, the money and the seller are long gone.

10.  Trying to make a few bucks bySelling Your Gold? BBB suggests you find a trustworthy appraiser. Get two or three appraisals before making the sell. The true price of gold may not be what you receive. 14-karat gold is worth less than pure gold. Know the company’s terms and conditions when sending items by mail, and check out the business’ report at www.bbb.org.