BBB Hot Topics: November 2017

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Better Business Bureau

 Take a look at BBB’s hot topics for November 2017!

  1. Beware of a letter from a fake nonprofit advocacy group regarding Social Security benefits. The letter requests your donation of $16.45 to save your benefits. Don’t fall for it! You will be out the money and may open yourself up to identity theft.
  2. Did you get a call from your local utility company regarding a past due balance? Local consumers are reporting these phony calls that threaten to shut off their services unless they pay immediately. Hang up the phone and call your utility company directly.
  3. Local seniors are being targeted by the grandparent scam. One consumer lost over $20,000 when a scammer claimed to be her grandson and said he needed money sent to him in the form of gift cards to avoid jail time. If you receive a call like this, hang up your phone and call your loved one directly.
  4. BBB has received numerous Publisher’s Clearinghouse scam calls. If you receive a call asking you to pay money for fees or taxes to claim your prize, just hang up the phone.  The real PCH sweepstakes does not call people in advance.
  5. If you receive a phone call about paying off your credit card for a 0% rate, it may be too good to be true! Scammers are asking for your banking and credit card information so they can transfer the balance, but don’t fall for it – they are only stealing your information.
  6. The IRS calls just won’t stop! Scammers claim to be from the “IRS” or “US Treasury Department,” demanding payment over the phone for overdue taxes. If you don’t pay, they threaten jail time or a lawsuit. Hang up immediately!
  7. Don’t fall for a phony Microsoft tech support scam. If you receive a call from someone who wants remote access to fix a problem with your computer, don’t do it – even if they claim to be from Microsoft. The scammer will charge a fee and download malware or spyware on your computer to steal your information.
  8. If you see the phone number 877-382-4357 pop up on your caller ID, don’t answer it! While this is the real FTC’s Consumer Response Center’s number and it is safe for you to call, they will not call you from this number.
  9. Did you win a free cruise? Unfortunately, it’s just a scam. A local consumer received a call from a fake radio station that she was the winner of a free cruise, she only had to pay $199 to register her name online.
  10. If you are seeking employment, watch out for job scams. A local consumer received an email from a scammer, saying they had reviewed her resume and were interested in her. They conducted an online interview, said she was perfect for the job, and asked for money upfront to cover her training and supplies.