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Better Business Bureau ®
Start With Trust®
Eastern Washington, North Idaho and Montana
BEWARE OF SCAMMERS POSING AS CLASSIFIED AD DEPTS. REQUESTING CREDIT CARD # “AGAIN” TO PAY FOR AD
August 25, 2010

Have an Ad Running in Your Local Newspaper Online or in Print?

BEWARE OF SCAMMERS POSING AS CLASSIFIED AD DEPTS. REQUESTING CREDIT CARD # “AGAIN” TO PAY FOR AD

800# that shows up on Caller ID is spoofed Billings Gazette #

Thanks to the Missoulian and Billings Gazette for Sharing Details

A Missoula woman called BBB to report a scam that is being attempted against her using her own classified ad as bait! Here’s how this scam works:

The Missoula woman placed an ad with the Missoulian to sell her lot.

Soon after the ad ran, she got a call from a person claiming to be from the Missoulian telling her the credit card she’d given didn’t go through. The caller asked for her credit card information again. Our Missoula resident was immediately suspicious when the caller gave her an 800 number of: 800-762-6397.

BBB NOTE: This is the crux of the scam. This 800# is the official number for the Billings Gazette’s Circulation Dept. Clever scammers! This number is being “spoofed” via Caller ID to attempt to fake you out thinking the scammers are the official circulation or classified department.

Our Missoula resident immediately contacted the official Missoulian Classified Department, which confirmed that the call wasn’t coming from them and that this scam was making the rounds victimizing Classified Departments at various locations.

BBB ADVICE

If you are placing an ad either online or in print, beware of scams such as these misusing your information in an attempt to scam you. Be wary of any call you receive where you have just used your credit card to pay for something that asks you to “give us that # again” yet is evasive otherwise about answering your questions. Tell them that YOU will call them back to give them the # but that you will use the official # in order to do so. If they won’t take no for an answer, then you have your answer! Then immediately contact the official classified ad department, and report the activity.

If you have an ad online, be wary of the following red flags:

*If the potential buyer demands to communicate by email only.

*If a potential buyer starts “playing bank with you,” and wants you to take a check or credit card amount that is over what you are asking for the item or service. If they send a check that requires you to go cash it, keep a portion of the payment, and send the rest to them, this is the true sign of an overpayment scam. More here on this scam: http://denver.bbb.org/article/overpayment-scams-1191

*If the potential buyer requires you to use only their escrow services, or requires you to wire monies in any particular way.