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Better Business Bureau ®
Start With Trust®
Eastern North Carolina
Marketplace Alerts for July 2011
July 29, 2011

In an effort to keep the public informed, Better Business Bureau serving Eastern North Carolina offers monthly Marketplace Alerts. Information regarding business or consumer topics reported here can be obtained through the BBB office by contacting mschmidt@raleigh.bbb.org.   

BBB warns job seekers to exercise caution when searching for employment opportunities online, as scam artists are placing fake employment opportunities on Craigslist claiming the BBB is hiring. This nationwide scam is an attempt to trick consumers into giving away their personal information. BBB advises consumers to protect their personal information, as job seekers should never provide their birth date or Social Security number until they have verified that the position is legitimate.

BBB cautions consumers to beware of an e-mail that is claming to be from Kentucky Fried Chicken. The e-mail states that if you complete a survey, KFC will award you with a gift card. The survey asks for personal information, such as your home address and phone number. Consumers who complete the survey are not receiving the gift card and, in turn, are receiving numerous telemarketing calls. This e-mail is not from KFC and it is not a KFC sponsored survey. Consumers who come across this e-mail should file a report with the FBI at www.ic3.gov.

BBB urges consumers to beware of calls from scam artists who tell them they have won a lottery and need to collect their winnings. Scam artists are calling both individuals and businesses to inform them that they have won a significant amount of money, but must first wire a fee to receive the money. Avoid wiring money to someone who awards you with something too good to be true and never pay money to accept a prize. BBB advises consumers to research a company before providing any personal information or sending money.

BBB urges consumers to beware of a new scam targeting cell phone users. Posing as bank employees, scam artists are sending text messages urging consumers to contact them immediately about a “pressing issue” that needs to be discussed. Victims of the scam are often asked to call a toll-free number and provide information, such as their debit card or account number, to a fake automated system. BBB advises consumers to never respond to the text messages, as this will let the scam artist know that your number is active. Also, contact your cell phone provider to block the scam artist’s number.

BBB has received complaints from consumers regarding paid online survey companies. Consumers are completing surveys online, and not getting paid by the companies for their work. Consumers are also having difficulty reaching the companies after they complete the survey. BBB advises consumers read the privacy policy and other fine print before submitting personal information to any paid survey Web site. It is important to research the company as well to find out the legitimacy of it. Visit bbb.org to review the Business Review of a specific online survey company.