BBB Hot Topics: June 2014

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Better Business Bureau

 Check out the latest scams and bad business in BBB’s June 2014 Hot Topics!


1. Local consumers are receiving Fake Calls from Jail. In a fake recording, the victim hears a loved one’s voice, then the call goes to a person that “accepts money for inmate’s accounts.” A scammer instructs the victim to wire money to get their loved one out of jail.

2. BBB is getting a lot of local calls on Sweepstakes Scams. The scammer tells the “winner” he or she must pay fees via Green Dot MoneyPak before receiving the prize. Once the victim pays, the prize never comes.

3. Phone calls from scammers claiming to be from a local sheriff’s office have been reported locally. The callers claim they have an Arrest Warrant out for the victim. The callers tell the victim they can avoid arrest if they load $500 onto a Green Dot MoneyPak Card and then give them the card account information.

4. If you receive a call from Prime Technology, hang up! Prime Tech has been notifying individuals that their computer has a virus and offers to protect their personal information by cleaning their computer and installing virus protection, for a cost, of course. The company is not legit. The BBB reports the company was using a UPS store address and does not have an active business license.

5. A new Craig’s List Scam has surfaced. Scammers pretend to be a son or daughter of a wealthy doctor/lawyer who just passed away. They claim to be selling big ticket items like boats, cars, and trailers at a low cost with little hassle. After money is wired, it is impossible to get in touch with the seller and the victim is out the money.

6. Beware of Fake Job Scams this summer! Scammers contact individuals via email or phone and offer jobs that require little to no experience or training for “too-good-to-be-true” pay-offs. The scam begins when the employer tells the victim to wire money for start-up materials or asks for their bank information for payment purposes.

7. Beware of The Home Depot Survey job scam! Job seekers are receiving offers for employment as secret shoppers. The scam uses a fake website at www.homedepot/opinon.com and the address of a real Home Depot. The job seeker receives a fake check, is asked to use the money to purchase products, then wire the remaining money back to the scammer.

8. Summer is the beginning of Home Improvement Scams.  Scammers offer to pave their driveways or complete other outside maintenance and ask for payment upfront for materials. In some cases the scammers take the money and are never seen again. Other times, the scammers complete the task, but with horrible results.

9. Beware of Door-To-Door Scammers selling magazine subscriptions, alarm systems, and other summer-time products. These scammers use high-pressure sales tactics and usually a sob story or two to “guilt” you into buying. Get their paperwork and check them out on your own time.

10. Beware of Summer Travel Scams. Low-cost vacation packages may deliver disappointing results. And, beware of anyone using high-pressure sales tactics. Check out the company first at www.bbb.org. When planning your trip, get all details in writing, including cancelation policies.

11. Tickets Scams are on the rise as the number of events increase during the summer. Be extra cautious when purchasing tickets to sold-out shows and sporting events. Make sure you’re buying from a vendor or individual you can trust. Check out the company first at www.bbb.org.  

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