In an effort to keep the public informed, Better Business Bureau serving Eastern North Carolina offers monthly Scam Alerts:
An e-mail scam using BBB’s name and logo continues to proliferate across North America. Most of the e-mails carry the famous BBB torch logo and come with the subject line “Complaint from your customers.” The e-mails have a link or an attachment containing malicious phishing malware that steals information, often with devastating results. BBB advises consumers to not click on any links or attachments, and to delete the e-mail. It is also important to run a full system scan using reputable virus software.
BBB warns consumers that scam artists are making phone calls claiming to represent the National Do Not Call Registry. According to DoNotCall.gov, “The calls claim to provide an opportunity to sign up for the Registry. These calls are not coming from the Registry or the Federal Trade Commission, and you should not respond to these calls.” The National Do Not Call Registry gives consumers an opportunity to limit the telemarketing calls they receive. BBB reminds consumers to not provide personal information to unknown callers, including bank information, Social Security numbers and contact information.
BBB warns job seekers to exercise caution when searching for employment opportunities online, as scam artists are placing fake employment opportunities on Web sites such as Craigslist. 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 urges 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 from 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 high-pressure collection tactics used by the scammers have also evolved, as they are now making personal appearances at the victim's place of employment or home. The scam artist claims to be serving the victim with a court summons, but tells the victim that they could avoid going to court if a debit card number is provided for repayment of the loan. BBB advises consumers to contact local law enforcement agencies if you feel you are in danger. It is also important to contact the three major credit bureaus to request an alert be placed on your file. If you have received a legitimate loan and want to verify that you do not have any outstanding obligation, contact the company directly.
BBB has been alerted that the American Institute of CPA’s name is being used in an e-mail phishing scam that was sent to numerous individuals, including CPAs and members of the general public. The e-mail incorporates an AICPA banner and references the recipient’s possible involvement in unlawful income tax refund activity. The recipient is instructed to click on a link to provide clarifying information. The fraudulent e-mail is not from the AICPA and should be immediately deleted.