Scam Alerts for July 2012

  
     
July 16, 2012

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

BBB warns consumers about a growing scam that claims President Obama will pay their utility bills through a new federal program. Scam artists are calling potential victims with claims that President Obama is providing credits or applying payments toward utility bills. To receive the money, scam artists claim they need consumers’ Social Security and bank routing numbers. In return, customers are given a phony bank routing number that will supposedly pay their utility bills. BBB reminds consumers to never provide personal information to an unknown caller.

BBB warns consumers that scam artists are leaving voicemails and sending text messages telling recipients that they missed jury duty. The scam artists tell consumers to return the call immediately and pay $500 to avoid jail time. When consumers call back, the scam artists ask for personal information, including Social Security and credit card numbers. BBB reminds consumers to avoid giving out personal information to an unknown source over the phone.

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 to 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.

BBB has been informed of a new e-mail scam, with the subject line “Don’t forget about meeting tomorrow.” Attached to the e-mail is a file called Report.zip, which harbors malware. The body of the e-mail often contains grammatical errors and tells consumers not to forget the attached file for the meeting. BBB reminds consumers to avoid clicking on any questionable links or attachments, especially if the e-mail is from an unknown source.