BBB: Hot Topics – July 2021 | #phishing | #scams


 BBB July 2021 Hot Topics

 

  1. A local consumer reported receiving a phone call from someone claiming to represent Better Business Bureau and Republic Bank, regarding a $1,000 credit card charge. This call did not originate from BBB’s office or Republic Bank and was likely a phishing scam. If you receive a suspicious call from anyone claiming to represent your bank or BBB directly.
  2. Don’t fall for a rental scam. A local consumer found a rental house via a Facebook ad, but became suspicious after exchanging emails with the alleged owner. The consumer decided to drive by the house, which had a “For Sale” sign out front. Upon calling the real estate agent, the consumer was informed the property was not for rent.
  3. Beware of scammers impersonating loved ones in crisis. A local consumer reported their grandmother was nearly the victim of this scam. She received a call from a scammer impersonating her granddaughter, claiming to be calling from jail and in need of bail money. If you receive such a call, state that you’ll call right back and call your family member’s usual phone number OR call another trusted family member to verify the story. Do not agree to send any money right away, no matter how urgent the matter might seem. This is a common scam that often targets grandparents.
  4. A local consumer reported to BBB that her daughter was the victim of an online purchase scam. Her daughter purchased an iPad Air 4 online via Facebook Pay. The next day, the seller contacted her and asked for more money, refused to provide a tracking number, and blocked her account. Be very cautious when purchasing items – especially big ticket items – on Facebook, and always use a credit card so you can dispute the charge if needed.
  5. Beware of any grants or financial aid offers that require an upfront “processing fee.” A local consumer thought he was applying for home improvement financial aid, only to be told he needed to pay a $1,500 “processing fee” for a $50,000 grant. Never agree to pay any type of fee in order to receive a grant, financial aid, or cash prize!
  6. A local consumer reported an employment scam to BBB. After applying for a job through a Facebook posting, the consumer was informed she would receive a large check which she should deposit, withdraw her weekly pay, then send the rest of the money back to the sender. The check was fraudulent. Beware of anyone who sends you a check or cashier’s check and asks you to deposit and return some of the money!
  7. BBB continues to receive reports of victims of the Century Post reshipping scam. As we reported last month, this “company” is a front for a reshipping scam. Do not respond to their job openings and beware of any job listing that mentions “reshipping,” “repackaging,” or “package inspector.”
  8. Beware of “accidental” payments on money transfer apps. A BBB employee received a text message stating a stranger had sent a payment via CashApp. If victims accept these payments, they typically receive a message saying the payment was an accident and they need to send the money back. The initial payments are often sent from stolen credit cards, and once the money is returned, the scammer replaces the stolen card information with their legitimate account.
  9. Beware of phony ticket scams. Before purchasing event tickets, watch out for prices that seem too good to be true, check for working contact information on the website, and search online for the event to make sure the name advertised matches the ticketing website (scammers often use names that sound similar to those of real festivals and events).
  10. BBB warns of utility scammers requesting to be paid by BitCoin. Victims receive a text message with a QR code instructing them to make a payment on a delinquent account. The QR code leads to a BitCoin machine at a designated location somewhere near the victim’s residence. If you receive a suspicious call or text message, contact your utilities provider directly.



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