Pay up, or else?

January 24, 2014
BBB has received reports of a fraudster calling people wanting them to pay up. One concerned business owner shared their story. From a voicemail message left on their phone, the business owner explains: “the person identified herself as a BBB employee and said, ‘This call is regarding complaints on your business from [supposed complainant’s name]. You have 24 hours to refund his money.’ The phone number they left was 423-266-6144 [your local BBB’s automated phone line]. The message stopped just as the person was about to leave their name.” The caller proceeded to state that the business owner had two complaints against them. Thankfully, the business owner did some homework and called the BBB to confirm. It turns out there are no complaints pending against that business owner’s company at this time. Despite the nonexistence of the complaint, the nature of the call is a red flag. At no time will any BBB staff call to demand money be paid on part of another business or consumer. The number the fraudster called from had a 530 area code, although fraudsters can spoof a phone number as well. Please also be aware that there has been a rise in incidences of cramming on phone bills; where unauthorized charged are added to your bill. Fraudsters will call and when you pick up or even call back the number, they will hang up, but by then an international phone call fee has been added to your phone bill. With that in mind, it is important to monitor your phone bills for unauthorized charges. For more on details on phone cramming, see For more tips you can trust, visit And for the latest happenings and tips visit BBB’s Facebook page:, and on Twitter @BBBTNGA.