BBB March 2013 Hot Topics

March 05, 2013

Check out the latest scams and bad business in BBB’s March 2013 Hot Topics!

1. Businesses are receiving emails disguised as Consumer Complaint Notifications from the FTC. The email states a complaint has been filed against your business, and you need to review and respond. The email provides a link, which takes you to a third party website, and the file you download is actually malware that scans your computer for personal information.

2. Criminals are posing as Drug Enforcement Administration agents. The criminals call the victim (who previously purchased drugs over the internet or by phone) and identify themselves as DEA agents, telling the victim that purchasing drugs over the internet or by phone is illegal, and that they will be arrested unless they pay a fine via wire transfer.

3. A new virus, called the FBI Green Dot Moneypack Virus, has surfaced. The “ransomware” locks up PC computer screens with the FBI logo and claims an illegal website has been visited on the computer and the computer will remain locked until a fine of $200 is paid.

4. Consumers are receiving emails from the Florida Department of Highway Vehicles, thanking them for their driver license and registration payments. The email contains a link for anyone who has questions regarding their payment. The scam artists are trying to get your personal information.

5. “This is a Service Message. You Owe $5000 on your Credit Card.” This is the new trend in robo calls. A message is received telling you that you owe over $5000 in service fees, BUT if you work with this company, they should be able to make them disappear. Just give them your credit card number.

6. Consumers are receiving emails claiming they won the Yahoo! Sweepstakes 2013 Online Award. All you have to do is contact “so-and-so” and give him your personal information.

7. Making Spring Break plans? Don’t be fooled by professional looking travel mailers, websites, or emails. Get all details in writing, including the cancellation and refund policies. Beware of companies that charge hefty upfront fees. Check out the business at

8. If you plan to Purchase Tickets to the NCAA tournament, make sure you are dealing with a reputable business. Websites like Craigslist have thousands of sports tickets listed, but the site offers no guarantees. If you plan to deal with a secondary market ticket firm, check out the company at The same would apply for Kentucky Derby tickets and other major sporting events!

9. Fake Webcam Footage is fooling online daters. Scammers use the video to disguise themselves as attractive singles. The scammer gets in a webcam chat room to collect footage, likely of someone who doesn’t even know he/she is being recorded. When the victim chats with his/her new “love interest,” they see the recorded video. The two “fall in love,” then the scammer asks for money.

10. If you plan to Hire a Contractor this spring, hire a contractor you can trust. Check a contractor out at Get at least three bids, get everything in writing, and beware of contractors who knock on your door offering “too good to be true prices” and asking for money up-front.

11. It’s Prom Shopping Season! Do your homework before you make a purchase for your high school student. Check out dress/tuxedo shops, florists, and limo companies at Remember to always check on refunds and cancellation policies, and get everything in writing!

12. BBB is receiving calls on the Grandparent Scam. A grandparent receives a call from someone they believe is their grandchild. The grandchild has been traveling and is in trouble (arrested or in an accident), and needs money wired – usually a few-thousand dollars.