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Better Business Bureau ®
Start With Trust®
Eastern Washington, North Idaho and Montana
BBB Weekly Tips for the Week March 1, 2010
November 12, 2010

Compiled by Zan Deery, Communications/Investigations

For the Week of 3/1/10

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.bbb.org

Follow Itsy Bitsy Sprinkle as she chases tips through our service area and collects advice from our sage staff!

TIP NUMBER ONE

BOGUS CRAIGSLIST POST “$600 Financial Assistance for Children of the Homeless and Unemployed”

Don’t Believe This Pitch, 800-217-9750 Asks for SS#

This ad has begun popping up on Craigslist, and just as quickly as it appears to be taken down, it appears elsewhere in another form. It’s still circulating out there, so BBB wishes to warn you about it. Here’s the pitch:

$600 Financial assistance for children of the homeless and unemployed (maryland)
Financial assistance program available for children of homeless and unemployed persons. We offer $600 per child per household. The adult must be the legal guardian of the child. The adult must also have been homeless or unemployed in 2009. The child must not have been claimed as a dependent by anyone else for the year. Call now for more information 1-800-217-9750.

Location: maryland
Compensation: $600

BBB ADVICE

Don’t get thrown by the demographic descriptor, “Maryland,” for this ad is running using a variety of location types. If you call 800-217-9750 to claim your $600, someone will identify their location as The Love Foundation (they may use other names as well).

While that name is employed by some charities, this is not one of them. The first thing a caller is asked to provide is a Social Security Number.  We know what comes next, and it isn’t love. 

If you’d like to read some more on this scam, we suggest you Google the 800# number, as you’ll find a whole bunch of negative posts.

TIP NUMBER TWO

Beware of Rebate Processor Jobs: Work-at-Home Opportunity Processing Rebates

Uses Legitimate Addresses of Other Businesses as Cover

Rebate Processor Jobs
415 West Valley Blvd. Suite 26
Colton, CA 92324
Phone: (480) 624-2599
http://www.rebateworkathome.com

This company is using a fictitious address. The principal of the company whose address is being fraudulently used has visited BBB offices to inform that their company has no affiliation with Rebate Processing Jobs. According to the Rebate Processing Jobs web site they are an affiliate of Virtual Training Solutions Inc located at 244 5th Avenue Second Floor #G218 New York, NY 10001-7604. The Bureau cannot trace addresses of companies or principals.

Complainants allege, after paying fees of $39.99-$49.99 to begin work as a rebate processor, respondents are directed to the company’s affiliates web addresses where they are required to pay additional fees to promote their products by writing and placing ads. If the products are purchased as a result of the respondent’s ad they are to receive some sort of compensation; however no rebate work exists. Complainants further express dissatisfaction with the company’s refusal to issue refunds.

FULL BBB REPORT HERE
http://www.la.bbb.org/Business-Report/Rebate-Processor-Jobs-100050535

BBB ADVICE

Be very wary, and do double homework on work at home opportunities, especially these days, because there are a number of questionable offers coming onto BBB’s radar lately.

TIP NUMBER THREE

NASTY PHISHING SCAM: “WINDOWS LIVE HOTMAIL ALERT

Thanks for Posted Warning on Your Blog, Leo

This phishing scam is almost as old as the hills, so to speak, and might be one of the older phishing scam versions out there, but people are still questioning it and falling for it. Too bad! Here is the most recent version of this phishing scam:

From: XXXXX
To: XXXXXX
Subject: Windows Live Hotmail™ Confirmation Alert !!!
Date: Wed, 24 Feb 2010 12:34:21 -0500
Windows Live Hotmail Alert!!!

ACCOUNT™ @ COMFIRMATION®
 
This is email from Windows Live Hotmail® and we are sending  it to all account user for  safety. Due to the anonymous registration of our account which is causing congestion to our service, so we are shutting down some account and your account was among those to be deleted,so the purpose of this email is for you to verify that you are the owner of this account and you are still using it by filling the information below after clicking on the reply button:
 
Username: ……………………..

Password: …………………….

Date of Birth: …………………
Country or Territory: …………

Make sure the details above are correct to enable us restore your account details, this will help prevent your account from been suspended.
 
Note: YOUR DETAILS WILL NOT BE SHARED.
Users have often told us that the more they use Windows Live! Service, the more they discover its benefits. We'll keep working on making Windows Live! the best email service around, and we appreciate your joining us for the ride.

Sincerely,
Microsoft Corporation
One Microsoft Way
Redmond, WA 98052

BBB ADVICE
There is no reason to “re-confirm” your profile info with groups that already have it. Do NOT ever open such an email being sent. If an email such as this comes from an unknown source, consider it a red flag. Do not click on hyperlinks, do not allow yourself to be directed to other pages. You could compromise your personal info, your computer, or both!

Windows Live Microsoft Warning
http://emailsupport.spaces.live.com/Blog/cns!5D6F5A79A79B6708!7764.entry

Ask-Leo.com Warning Post
http://74.125.155.132/search?q=cache:ggYYmOdAJdcJ:ask-leo.com/is_windows_live_hotmail_about_to_close_my_account.html+Windows+Live+Hotmail%E2%84%A2+Confirmation+Alert+!!!&cd=4&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us

TIP NUMBER FOUR

BBB Continues to Warn: eBay Warning to Buyers
 
Fake Invoices for “eBay Vehicle Protection Program” Resurfaces

We’re still seeing people fall for the fake eBay Vehicle Purchase Program invoices when they attempt to purchase something online, such as a truck or car.

Here is a link to our past warning on these VERY CONVINCING INVOICE RESPONSES YOU GET from scammers attempting to have you compromise your personal info when you are proceeding to purchase something from a scammer:

TIP ONE HERE
http://74.125.155.132/search?q=cache:CjiBKgeLnpkJ:spokane.bbb.org/article/bbb-weekly-tips-you-can-trust-for-the-week-september-28-2009-12677+ebay+vehicle+protection,+spokane+bbb&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us

“CAN’T FIGURE IT OUT = DON’T FALL FOR IT” SCENARIO FROM BBB

SCENARIO

“Dorothy” called BBB yesterday from Spokane and said her husband had caught a weird call while she was out shopping. He’s elderly and may be becoming vulnerable to random callers.

He got a call from someone with a heavy East Indian accent who said he was from “Craigslist.” He said he was trying to stop unsolicited phone calls. He said he would call back in a few minutes and when he did, he wanted the husband to pick up the phone and say “50600.”

The husband did so. He asked for the caller’s phone number and the caller refused, then hung up. Dorothy was very concerned but I couldn’t find any information on this type of a scam…They don’t have long-distance capability on their phone…

Weird!