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Better Business Bureau ®
Start With Trust®
Eastern North Carolina
Scam Alerts for August 2011
August 30, 2011

In an effort to keep the public informed, Better Business Bureau serving Eastern North Carolina offers monthly Scam Alerts:

BBB is cautioning businesses and consumers about an e-mail that is claiming to come from BBB. The e-mail appears to come from a phony BBB address (BBBupdate@post.com) and falsely requests verification and validation of BBB Ratings. BBB reminds consumers and businesses that we are not conducting a verification request nor are we issuing e-mails in response to a pending rating or review about you or your business. If you do receive such an e-mail, please disregard its message and report it to BBB.

BBB is warning job seekers to proceed with caution when inquiring about jobs found online. Although the Internet has made searching for jobs easier, it also provides an opportunity for ID thieves and scam artists to take advantage of eager job seekers. Many phony jobs require the prospective employee to cash a check and then wire a portion of the money on to another entity. The check will turn out to be a fake and the employee is out the money he or she wired back to the scam artist. Before inquiring about a job, make sure you know who you are dealing with. Always check out a business at bbb.org first.

BBB is cautioning senior citizens about a new twist on the Grandparent Scam. In the original scam, the grandparents receive a phone call from whom they believe is their grandchild. The supposed grandchild explains that he is in trouble. He asks the grandparent to wire him money to post bail or to pay for damages. The scam artist’s tactic is to pose as a grandchild and let the unsuspecting grandparent fill in the blanks. For example, the scam artist may say, “It’s your favorite grandchild,” to which the grandparent will guess the name of the grandchild it sounds the most like. In the updated scam, callers identify themselves by the specific name of a family member. They even reference other family members by name, which increases their credibility. BBB advises seniors to confirm the status of the individual by calling them back directly or verifying the story with other family members before taking any action. Also, limit the amount of personal information shared on social media Web sites and only “friend” people you personally know.

BBB has been alerted by Confero, Inc, of a new e-mail scam using the company’s reputable name in an attempt to trick consumers into giving their personal information in exchange for high paying “mystery shops.” E-mails are being sent from a phony e-mail address (e.buxton@aol.com), which uses the name of Confero’s President and CEO, Elaine Buxton. Confero reminds consumers that it never asks shoppers to sign up by sending personal information through e-mail. Visit www.conferoinc.com for additional information.

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.