BBB’s July 2015 Hot Topics


1. Local consumers are receiving calls from “Kevin,” who claims to be from the U.S. Treasury Department. He tells them that they owe a debt and will be punished if it goes unpaid. The scammers are using spoofing technology to trick victims into thinking the calls are coming from the government. Do not give them your personal information.

2. A local consumer received an email appearing to be from Just The Facts, Inc. with a secret shopper employment opportunity. Just The Facts, Inc. is a real company that offers secret shopping services as well as other services and has an A+ rating with the BBB. But they are not sending these emails. Be careful where you post your resume online and investigate questionable job postings.

3. Beware of the work-at-home scheme on job posting sites by Goshen Express Courier Service. The company offers to pay people once a month for shipping items to their customers. The items appear to be purchased with stolen credit card numbers. GECS is using the BBB seal on their website but it is not an Accredited Business and has an F rating with the BBB.

4. Student loan forgiveness scams are affecting local students. Bogus emails state the student’s loan balance is eligible for complete forgiveness. The student is asked to call and provide personal information. This is a scam! Loans are rarely forgiven without special circumstances.

5. Beware of a contractor going door to door in local areas selling home lightning protection. A local consumer paid $1660 for minor repairs but was unable to verify what repairs were done. The company didn’t provide an address or a contract for their services. Always check a business out first at bbb.org.

6. Local businesses with a Konica printer or renewed contracts with the Lang Company have been hit by a toner supplier scam. Supply World claims to be the toner provider for a business and then asks for $700 or more for the shipment of one cartridge. Lang Company representatives say this is a scam!

7. A local business received a fraudulent fax from the IRS asking for personal information and bank account numbers. The fax states that you are eligible to receive a tax refund of more than $1,000. Do not reply! This is not coming from the IRS. The IRS does not ask for information via fax.

8. Be on the lookout for survey scams. A link is provided via email or social media to a customer survey that will result in a $100 gift card or prize. However, the survey is actually a phishing scam requesting bank or credit card information. The scammers may download malware to your computer to gain access to your passwords and other critical information.

9. Con artists have created fake websites that prey on affordable housing seekers that appear to offer a way to sign up for a voucher wait list. These web sites seem legitimate, but they really collect fees and personal information from victims. Housing authorities do not charge fees! Contact your local housing authority to register for a housing choice voucher program.

10. BBB is warning parents about Be Inspired Cultural Arts, which operates performing arts oriented programs and summer camps in several states. Multiple complaints allege that camps were not delivering services as advertised. Many parents learned that the camps they had already paid tuition for would not be held at all, and attempts to reach the company by phone and email were unsuccessful.

For more Hot Topics go to bbb.org.

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