Better Business Bureau's Hot Topics For June

1.      BBB received a report from a local consumer of an elaborate employment scam on Facebook that cost the consumer over $5,000.BBB warns consumers to be wary of any online job opportunity that appears too good to be true, and that requires the consumer to pay money in order to receive money.

2.      A consumer searching online for used car parts was scammed out of $195 and never received the ordered item. BBB warns consumers to always check business profiles at bbb.org before buying. 

3.      A consumer reported a fake family emergency call to BBB. The consumer was contacted by a scammer claiming to be his son calling from the scene of an auto accident. The consumer then spoke with an “attorney” claiming to represent his son who was also a scammer. BBB warns consumers to never send money over the phone. If you receive a call regarding a family emergency that sounds suspicious, hang up and contact the individual directly to verify.

4.      BBB warns consumers to be on the lookout for medical bill scams. If you receive a bill, verify the claim first, look up the customer service number listed on the bill and make sure it’s registered with an official business, don’t give in to scare tactics, and guard your personal information. 

5.      BBB warns consumers to be on the lookout for customer service imposters. Red flags include “representatives” who don’t know any details about your account, who ask for information not needed to handle your issue (such as your Social Security Number), or who say you need to pay money to resolve your issue. Never allow anyone remote access to your device, and always contact a company directly if you need to speak to their customer service department.   

6.      BBB received a report of a Geek Squad invoice scam from a consumer. Invoice scams attempt to scare consumers into thinking they have been charged a large amount for a service or item they did not purchase; when the consumer calls the number on the fake invoice, a scammer then attempts to steal their personal or financial information. If you receive a suspicious invoice, do not call the number listed. Check your bank account or credit card statement for any unknown charges. 

7.      Scam Publisher’s Clearing House phone calls are on the rise again in BBB’s service area. As a reminder, the real Publisher’s Clearing House only contacts winners by mail, not by phone or text. Any “sweepstakes” that claims you need to pay money upfront to claim your winnings is very likely a scam.  

8.      BBB warns consumers of a phishing scam that claims a process server is looking for you. The scam starts with an intimidating phone call saying a debt collector needs immediate payment or a police officer has a warrant for your arrest. Don’t engage with these phone calls and don’t give out personal or financial information. If you think there’s a chance someone has filed a lawsuit against you, check your local court’s website. 

9.      Multiple consumers have reported online shopping scams to BBB this month, wherein the victims never receive the ordered item or any kind of refund for a missing item. BBB reminds consumers to research companies first at bbb.org before ordering online, and to always pay by credit card in case you need to dispute a charge. 

10. As we enter summer vacation season, BBB warns consumers to beware of online hotel booking scams. Only book hotels through official websites, research any hotel or business you aren’t familiar with, and pay with a credit card. 

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