BBB June 2021 Hot Topics
1. BBB has seen a rise in reports of employment scams. Multiple local consumers have reported encountering job listings and/or offers that ultimately turn out to be fraudulent. Be wary of any potential “employer” who presents a job offer on the spot, asks you to pay for equipment and/or training, or sends you a cashier’s check to pay for supplies. Research any potential employer/company before accepting an offer of employment.
2. Beware of repackaging employment scams. BBB has received several reports from consumers warning of a potential repackaging scam originating in Louisville. Consumers have reported that they responded to work-from-home job listings for “package handler” or “package inspector” on sites like Indeed.com and Monster.com. After being “hired,” they were instructed to repackage and ship packages sent to their homes. They were also required to send their personal information for the purposes of “employment paperwork.” These scams typically involve stolen merchandise AND identity theft as the scammers are able to gain personal information such as social security numbers from victims who believe they have been hired by a legitimate company. If you see any type of repackaging job posting, do not apply and report the posting as a scam!
3. One local BBB Accredited Business recently reported a check scam to BBB. The business, a home inspection company, received a request for a home inspection that ultimately resulted in the scammer sending a check for an amount larger than the invoice. The scammer asked the business to deposit the check and then send the remaining amount to a third party “pest control company.” BBB warns all small businesses to be wary of any potential customer paying with a large check and asking for money to be sent to a third party. The check is likely fraudulent, leaving the business on the hook for the money!
4. A local consumer reported receiving a scam text message claiming to be from Fifth Third Bank. The text message informed the recipient that their account would be disabled due to irregularities and included a link to restore the account. Be wary of any suspicious text messages from banks or other financial institutions, and do not click on any links – contact the bank directly if you have concerns or questions!
5. BBB continues to receive reports of sweepstakes scams from local consumers. Whether it’s a text message claiming the recipient has won an Amazon drawing or calls from fraudulent “sweepstakes companies,” these reports are on the rise. Remember BBB’s tips: do not click on any links from suspicious text messages and never agree to pay any upfront fee in order to claim a prize!
6. One local consumer has reported a romance scam to BBB. The consumer was contacted by a stranger on Facebook who claimed to be romantically interested in the victim. The scammer then began asking for money and gift cards to cover various “emergencies” and bills, and continued to harass the victim after they blocked the original Facebook user account. While there is nothing wrong with meeting a potential romantic partner online, be very cautious of any requests for money, gifts, etc. from someone you don’t know very well!
7. One local consumer has reported a scam phone call claiming social security fraud. The recorded call states that fraudulent activity has been detected against the recipient’s social security number and instructs the recipient to speak to an “agent.” This is a phishing scam – do not respond!
8. BBB has received multiple reports of online purchase scams and fraudulent sellers. These scammers usually advertise on social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram. Victims often never receive products or receive cheap counterfeit products. Always research any unknown company first before making a purchase.
9. WhatsApp users should be wary of a scam targeting the popular app. If you receive a message from the “WhatsApp Technical Team” asking you to verify your identity by sending your six-digit login code, this is a scam and an attempt to hack your account. WhatsApp will never contact you directly via the app.
10. Planning a trip this summer? Beware of rental car scams. Avoid any “deals” or “specials” that require you to pay for the rental car in the form of a gift card or prepaid debit card. “Representatives” of a car rental company might claim that the so-called deal is a partnership with a gift card or prepaid debit card company, when in reality this is a scam to gain gift card information, and you will never receive the car you supposedly rented. Always visit rental car company websites directly instead of clicking on ads, and if a deal sounds too good to be true, it likely is.