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Better Business Bureau ®
Start With Trust®
In Eastern Washington, North Idaho and Montana
BBB Weekly Tips You Can Trust Week of June 23, 2008
June 24, 2008

Compiled by Zan Deery, Communications/Investigations

06/23/08

zan@spokane.bbb.org
800-356-1007 or 509-455-4200

www.bbb.org

Readers of these tips should take into consideration the importance of the practice in question and the total performance of a company.

For complete information and BBB reports, please visit
 
www.bb.org 

TIP NUMBER ONE

SUNQUEST TRAVEL aka Global Adventures of Fredericksburg, VA
Using Mail Drop Only, Won’t Reveal Headquarters to BBB

Sunquest Travel - Global Adventures
4121 Plank Road #402
Fredricksburg, VA 22407
(931) 607-0638
(931) 607-0638
(540) 220-3256
(931) 607-0638 - Fax
www.myglobaltravelcenter.com
support@myglobaltravelcenter.com

Based on BBB files, this company has an unsatisfactory record with the BBB due to an unanswered complaint.  Additional mail sent to this company is being returned "undeliverable" and so the BBB is unclear as to where the company is physically located. In a recent conversation with the company's owner, the BBB asked for an updated address. The company declined to provide this information.  According to information in BBB files, the 4121 Plank Road, #402, Fredericksburg VA 22407 address is not a physical location for the company but rather a mail drop box.  This company’s web site is privately registered with a domain registrar, and no additional location info is available through them via their web site.

Complaints allege consumers are contacted and invited to attend a two hour travel club presentation. Consumers are advised they will receive two free airline tickets for simply attending the presentation. In addition, consumers are promised a five day trip to Hawaii or St Thomas for signing up for the travel club program. Consumers report filling out the required Promotional Certificate Redemption Form and mailing it to the company's address as instructed. Consumers further report never receiving the promised tickets and having difficulty contacting the company.

BBB TIPS

There are reputable travel clubs out there. Compare discount prices given with other discount offers. Do your homework before signing up at any sales presentation and read the fine print. Don’t just say yes over the phone. Ask for any agreements in writing and understand your terms and conditions before agreeing to any such offers.

The right to cancel

If you join a travel club and the presentation is done at a hotel or some other location that is not the club’s normal place of business, you have three days to cancel. Federal law guarantees this cooling off period. If the pitch takes place in the club’s office, you’re a member the minute you sign the contract.

If you have any unresolved issues concerning your deal, file a formal complaint with the BBB and the WA State AG’s Office.

TIP NUMBER TWO

GALASOURCE of Denver, CO
Shuts Down Site, Leaving Many Unfulfilled

GALASOURCE
3890 Elm St.
Denver, CO 80207
www.galasource.com

The Better Business Bureau today is warning business owners in the restaurant, retail, and hospitality industries nationwide that an internet-based company from Denver called Galasource, Inc. (www.galasource.com) appears to have closed, leaving thousands of dollars’ worth of paid orders unfilled across the country.

The company web site appeared to be up and running, however, as of June 19, 2008, is posing a risk for further loss from unsuspecting business owners. The products include appliances, furniture, and a range of supplies for restaurants.

“A company that isn’t filling orders that have been paid for, or not responding to questions--but simultaneously continuing to market to new customers--is a huge red flag,” said Jean Herman, BBB Denver/Boulder president and CEO.

BBB Denver/Boulder, where the firm is based, reports that businesses from 15 states have filed complaints about the company in 2008 – with complaints originating from 11 of those states just since June 1. BBB believes that a principal of the company is Gary Baker and that the firm operated from 3890 Elm St. in Denver, CO 80207.

A restaurant owner in North Carolina paid the firm in full for $13,870 in equipment that did not arrive, while a tavern owner in Washington is waiting for a $3,387 credit for an order that originally totaled more than $10,000. Calls and emails to the company from customers and the BBB have gone unanswered. Problems with the company’s service are relatively new. The firm had been a BBB Accredited Business in Denver/Boulder, although the BBB suspended the firm’s accreditation on May 29 pending further investigation, and the report is currently unsatisfactory.

BBB TIPS

If you have an unresolved issue concerning this company, and have time to dispute any credit card charges, we encourage you to do so ASAP. Also, we urge you to file formal complaints with the BBB as well as your state Attorney General’s Office.

TIP NUMBER THREE

LATEST ADVANCE FEE LOAN SCAMS:
Capital Lending Services (Boise, ID) and
NAPERVILLE FINANCIAL PLANNING AND LENDING (Warrenville, IL)

Capital Lending Services
1444 Entertainment Ave.
Boise, ID  83709
www.capitallendingservice.net

Boise BBB has been receiving numerous calls about an advanced fee loan company that has an address in its service area. The company’s name is Capital Lending Service using the above mentioned information.

They state that they are located at 1444 Entertainment Ave. Boise, ID  83709, which is a legitimate address for aBBB accredited business that has nothing to do with them. The accredited business, however, informed the Boise BBB that only one other company is in the building but there is a mail drop box at the location.

The company is using a web site of www.capitallendingservice.net.
These scammers are receiving personal information from consumers including banking account information and Social Security numbers.
Boise BBB has seen upfront fees ranging from around $540 for a $3,000 loan up to $3,500 for a $100,000 loan. Consumers are directed to wire the money Western Union to an address located in Alberta, Canada. They advertise in the newspaper and on the television in numerous different states around the US including New York, Mississippi, Colorado, and Alabama. 

NAPERVILLE FINANCIAL PLANNING AND LENDING
2001-4320 Winfield Rd.
Warrenville, IL  60555
(888) 235-4964
www.naperville-financialgrp.com

BBB TIPS

It is illegal for a company to charge you an upfront fee to secure a loan, and wiring upfront fees for loans out of the country is considered a HUGE red flag. If you have fallen victim to this group, you are more than likely not going to see any of your monies back. Once you wire money out of the country for such a pitch, you are at 100% risk. We strongly urge you to file formal complaints with the BBB as well as your state Attorney General’s Office and the FBI at: www.ic3.gov
 
TIP NUMBER FOUR

NETWINNER Has Unsatisfactory BBB Report

NETWINNER, LLC
www.netwinner.com
(704) 347-8850
1427 South Blvd. Suite 200
Charlotte, NC  2820304261

Based on BBB files, this company has an unsatisfactory record with the BBB due to failure to respond to one or more complaints and or two or more otherwise unresolved complaints. However the business has resolved some complaints presented to the BBB.

TIPS
If you have a complaint with this company and its activities, please file with the BBB at: www.bbb.org  

TIP NUMBER FIVE

TWO ADDITIONAL WARNINGS FROM BBB FROM OTHER SOURCES

WARNING#1 FROM FBI

FBI: PHISHING AND VISHING ATTACKS TARGETING USERS OF EPPICARDS

The IC3 has received reports of phishing attacks targeting users of EPPICards. The EPPICard is similar to a debit card. EPPICards are issued by a state agency for the purpose of receiving child-support payments. The cards are currently used in 15 states.

Individuals have reported receiving e-mail or text messages indicating a problem with their account. They are directed to follow the link provided in the message to update their account or correct the problem. The link actually directs the individuals to a fraudulent web site where their personal information, such as account number and PIN, is compromised.

Individuals have also reported receiving an e-mail message asking them to complete an online survey. At the end of the survey, they are asked for their EPPICard account information to allow funds to be credited to the account in appreciation for completing the survey. Providing this information will allow criminals to compromise the account.

EPPICard providers indicate they are not affiliated with survey web sites and do not solicit personal information via e-mail or text messages.

Please be cautious of unsolicited e-mails. Do not open e-mails from unknown senders because they often contain viruses or other malicious software. Also, avoid clicking links in e-mails received from unknown senders as this is a popular method of directing victims to phishing websites.

If you have received an e-mail similar to this, please notify the IC3 by filing a complaint at www.IC3.gov.

WARNING #2 FROM SPAM EMAIL VAULT—
GOOD SCAM TO BE AWARE OF!

Have you received an email warning you of this? Just know about it because it really has been reported to law enforcement!

A woman said her son found his license plate missing so he called the police to file a report. They told him people were stealing the plates to get free gas. Given the rise in gas prices, people have taken to stealing license plates, putting them on their car, then getting gas and running. The gas station will have "your" license plate # and you could be in trouble for "pump and run." Check your car periodically to be sure you still have a plate. If you should find it missing, file a report immediately!!! Keep an eye on your license plate! Make sure you always know it's there! When the license plate is reported as the "drive off vehicle", it's YOU they contact! Be aware!!!! Be aware of your license plates, most of us never look to see if the plates are there or not.