BBB October 2013 Hot Topics

September 30, 2013

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

1. Beware of Rental Scams. Renters who are looking for a house to lease are getting scammed by someone who poses as an “owner.” The place is in a great place, for a great price. The ad looks legitimate and is often copied from a real ad. The “owner” is out of town and wants a security deposit, wired. The renter is out the money, and has no place to live.

2. Beware of calls offering Phony Government Grants to help pay for education, home repairs, business expenses, or unpaid bills. If you receive a call like this, do not give your personal information! For information on grants go to

3. If you sell Thirty-One Gifts, Avon, or Lisa Sophia, beware of the Overpayment Scam. Scammers are emailing consultants, asking to purchase products. The scam artist tells a story of hardship and sends a payment for more than the products, asking the consultant to cash the check and wire the difference back. Do not wire money to someone you do not know!

4. Scammers are using the Affordable Care Act to confuse consumers and steal their identities. The caller claims to be with the federal government, saying the consumer has been selected to be part of a group of Americans to receive insurance cards. Before the card can be mailed, the caller needs your bank account or social security number.

5. Beware of a phone call offering a New Medicare Card for those under 60. A company called Guaranteed Medical Benefits for You has been reported to the BBB. Consumers say the company tells them they are eligible for a supplementary card worth $500 to help pay for doctor visits. The callers are actually after Medicare ID numbers, bank account numbers, and your funds!

6. Beware of Fake Minister Profiles on Facebook. Con artists are impersonating popular church pastors, and once they gain a following, they use their influence to get donations for fake charities. The “minister,” then pockets the funds.

7. Global Professional Network sends emails, saying you were recommended by one of your peers as a potential candidate to represent your professional community. While it sounds like an honor, it is actually a professional employment services agency that creates a list of professionals that is sold. By offering the recognition into the registry, they are creating a list of professionals that is then sold to other companies.

8. Many businesses are marketing Pink Ribbon products and services to support a cure for breast cancer. BBB reminds you to research donation claims before making a purchase. Identify the charity receiving the donation and find out what percentage of the donation actually goes to the cause. Be cautious of any solicitations over the phone. To check out a charity go to

9. Do not get spooked by Halloween Boutiques! Many of these shops and online stores are seasonal. To avoid being haunted, ask the company for its physical address and phone number. Check out the company at Be sure you understand the refund and exchange policy, shipping charges, and provide credit card information only on a secure site.

10. Protect Your Identity Week is October 20 – 26th. BBB is teaming up with other organizations to remind you to protect your identity! BBB is having a free shred event October 19 from 6 am to NOON at the Kroger in Middletown, 12501 Shelbyville Road, Louisville. Consumers can bring up to 3 boxes or bags. Call BBB for more information.