Avoid scams with holiday Tips from the BBB

Holiday Tips from the BBB

The holiday season should be a time of celebration. While online shopping makes things easier for consumers, it can do the same for thieves. Busy, high-spending times are the exact opportunity crooks look for to try and trick you out of your money or steal your identity.

1. Research firms at bbb.org before buying gifts. Beware of sites causing complaints ALL year round. Below are some examples.

Rosegal.com – F Rating | 11 Complaints

CUSTOMER REVIEW: “I paid for a bathing suit and never received it. They never respond to any messages and the customer service phone number is disconnected. I would never use this company again”.

Dresslily.com – F Rating | 294 Complaints

CUSTOMER REVIEW: “I would give no stars if that was an option. I have ordered twice; first order never arrived and they claimed I needed to pick it up from the post office which was not true (they basically said, too bad, too sad on that order). Second order, I ordered 3 items, received 1 right away, and other 2 are still missing; it's just a bunch of back and forth, check with your post office, so sorry please wait another 30 days. This company needs to be shut down”.

There are so many of these sites out there that there is a dedicated Facebook group of people who've been scammed/had a terrible experience with these sites and others that are similar.

www.facebook.com/groups/ifitstoogoodtobetrue

https://www.facebook.com/Victimofdresslily/

2. Looking to earn a few extra bucks to expand your Christmas budget? Beware of Hijacked business profiles.

Recently Work-at-Home Scammers have hijacked local business profiles to get advanced fees, make promises of work from home and leave consumers without their money and job hopes. Below are a couple of the most common examples.

Internet businesses

You’re told you can earn thousands of dollars a month. The ‘Scammer’ says that no experience is necessary because they have experts to coach you, and you’re pressured to pay for the opportunity right away. Once you pay, the ‘scammer’ says you won’t succeed unless you pay for more pricey services. Many people who pay for these are left with a lot of debt and not much else.

Other work-at-home offers tell you that you can make money doing tasks like internet searches on prominent search engines and filling out forms. You just have to pay a small shipping and handling fee. Later on, you learn that the company isn’t connected with a well-known search engine like it claims — scammers are just lying to get your credit or debit card information. If you pay them even a tiny fee online, they can use your financial information to put additional charges on your card.

Envelope stuffing

For a small fee, the ad says, you’ll make lots of money stuffing envelopes. But after you pay, you find out there is no work. Instead, you get a letter telling you to get other people to buy the same envelope-stuffing opportunity or some other product. You earn money only if those people respond the same way you did “.

For more information about other work-at-home scams please visit the following link: https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0175-work-home-businesses

3. So, you want to buy a new puppy for a Christmas gift?

Research breeders on BBB.org before attempting to buy that new puppy on the internet. Just taking a little extra time to research can save you a lot of headache and, more importantly, heartache.

World Class Boxer Puppies – F Rating | 469-209-9104

CUSTOMER REVIEW: “I contacted them in hopes of purchasing one of their boxer puppies with no problems. I paid $550 to buy and send this puppy to me. I then got an email confirmation saying he was on his way to me yesterday. When I got home from work, I got another email from West jet saying I needed to send them two payments of $951 for an electronic air conditioned crate to finish transporting the puppy to me. I contacted the breeders multiple times as soon as I got that email from WestJet. I left multiple voicemails and emails for the rest of that day trying to figure out what was going on. They finally got back to me about the dog Rocky asking what was going on. I haven't had any responses from them since this morning.”

A new scam targeting Amazon shoppers
When it comes to ecommerce, Amazon.com  is one of the most trusted and established brands (and a BBB Accredited Business). That’s why scammers love to impersonate it. BBB is seeing a new email con that appears to be Amazon asking you to “confirm” your personal information.
How the Scam Works
You open your email and see a message from “Amazon.com” with a subject line that reads: “We could not confirm the address associated with your Amazon account.” The email looks legitimate. It has the official Amazon logo at the top and uses the brand colors.
The email is a short message explaining that Amazon could not confirm your address or other personal information associated with your account. Before you can access your Amazon account again, you will need to verify all your information. To get started, just click on the link in the message.
Don’t do it!  The message is fake and an attempt to gain access to your personal information. The link does not lead to Amazon.com, but rather to a third-party website that could be carrying malware.
How to Avoid Email Phishing Scams:
·         Don’t click on links in unsolicited emails.  Links can download malware onto your computer and even lead to identity theft. Beware of unsolicited emails in general. Even if they look official, they could be fake.
·         Never share your personal information with someone who has contacted you unsolicited. Personal information can include your date of birth, credit card or banking information, address or your Social Security number.
·         Check BBB Tips: Many email scams use similar techniques. Be sure to review the tips found on BBB.org/phishingscam
·         Report the scam at bbb.org/scamtracker
 
 
“Look for the Seal” and Start with Trust®. BBB Serving Acadiana is a private non-profit organization. BBB strives for a trustworthy marketplace by maintaining standards for truthful advertising, investigating and exposing fraud against consumers and businesses.
                      
Please contact Better Business Bureau at (337) 981-3497 24 or bbb.org 24 hours a day for information on businesses throughout North America. Consumers can also sign up for our free BBB “Scoop” eNewsletter by visiting bbb.org and clicking on the “Programs & Services” tab.
 
BBB Serving Acadiana services the parishes of Acadia, Evangeline, Iberia, Lafayette, St. Martin, St. Landry and Vermilion.

 

ABOUT BBB: For more than 100 years, Better Business Bureau has been helping people find businesses, brands and charities they can trust. In 2015, people turned to BBB more than 172 million times for BBB Business Reviews on more than 5.3 million businesses and Charity Reports on 11,000 charities, all available for free at bbb.org.

There are local, independent BBBs across the United States, Canada and Mexico, including BBB Serving Abilene and the Big Country, which was founded in 1970 and serves Taylor, Jones, Mitchell, Brown, Shackleford, Nolan, Scurry, Coleman Callahan, Fisher, Stephens, Eastland, & Runnels counties. www.bbb.org/abilene, 325-691-1533.


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