Scam Alerts for September 2011
September 29, 2011

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

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 has been alerted that companies are receiving fraudulent faxes that appear to be from Equifax, the credit reporting agency. The faxes are requesting sensitive financial information from companies and are asking them to fax the information back. BBB and Equifax are urging businesses to discard these letters, as the fax is fraudulent.

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 claims he will award you with something too good to be true and never pay money in order to accept a prize. BBB advises consumers to research a company before providing any personal information or sending money.

BBB warns consumers to beware of fly-by-night repair companies soliciting your business. In the wake of a storm, such as those recently experience in eastern NC, fly-by-night repair businesses take advantage of storm victims through home repair and debris removal scams. They often collect up-front deposits from consumers, then move on to the next town before performing any work. BBB cautions consumers to be wary of any contractor who demands payment upfront. Once the job is completed to your satisfaction, pay by credit card, as this will provide additional protection if there is a problem. Also, request a written contract that clearly states the work that is to be completed, as well as payment information.

BBB cautions consumers to beware of a telephone scam related to overdue payday loans. Consumers are receiving calls from people alleging to represent agencies, including the FBI and law firms. The caller claims to be collecting debts on behalf of well-known companies, but will not provide any information about the payday loan. The caller also attempts to instill fear by threatening the consumer with jail time and legal actions. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act prohibits debt collectors from using abusive, unfair, or deceptive practices to collect from consumers.