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BBB Hot Topics: January 2017

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By Better Business Bureau

 See the latest scams in BBB’s January 2017 Hot Topics

1. A local consumer reported almost falling victim to a Craigslist scam involving a “too good to be true” deal on a car for sale. The scammer said she was in the military and needed to sell the vehicle quickly because she was being deployed. She requested payment with gift cards through the fake “Amazon Payment” program.

2. One local consumer was scammed out of $210 by a fake business she found on Facebook called “Payday Loans” that lists Louisville as its location. She was approved for a $4,000 loan and was told she would have to pay various processing fees in order to receive it. Don’t fall for it!

3. Don’t be fooled by a scam call from a person claiming to be from UPS. A local woman told the BBB that the caller said she had won $6.2 million, and they needed to know her address and what time she would be home so they could deliver the check in person. Eventually, the scammers will also try to get other personal information.

4. A local man reported his wife was tricked by a Costco survey scam. She received a text that offered a free gift if she participated in a Costco survey. She gave the caller her credit card information to pay the $4 shipping fee to receive the gift. The man then called Costco, and they confirmed it is a scam.

5. Some Amazon shoppers are receivingscam“Order Cannot Be Shipped” emails. The email states there was a processing error and asks for personal information. If you receive an email like this, log into your Amazon account directly to check the status of your order.

6. A local woman recently called BBB to report her daughter had cashed a fraudulent $7,000 check that she received from a company which promised her a work-from-home job. If a job offer seems too good to be true – that you would be paid thousands of dollars before you do any work – it is most likely a scam.

7. BBB frequently receives calls from consumers who have fallen victim to identity theft. The New Year is a good time to check your credit report with all three major credit reporting agencies: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. Request a FREE credit report by visiting www.annualcreditreport.com or calling 1-877-322-8228.

8. Do you use the dating app, Tinder? If so, beware of a scam using Chatbots -- computer programs that simulate human conversation. Scammers are using this technology to “talk” to multiple people at once and trick them into sending them money or downloading malware onto their PC.

9. Home is not the only place scammers will target you. Scammers may call you at work claiming to be the IT department or bank to ask for sensitive information such as a password or account number to fix an urgent problem. Con artists can now change the caller-id to show whatever number they would like, so it’s easier to fall for this scam.

10. Make your New Year’s resolution to be a smart consumer in 2017! Visit www.bbb.org to research businesses and charities. Install anti-virus software on your computer. Protect yourself from identity theft by shredding important documents. Limit what you share on social media to avoid having scammers gather info about you.

For more tips, go to bbb.org or call 1-800-388-2222.