Scam Alerts for August 2012

August 15, 2012

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

BBB warns consumers that a new e-mail scam posing as a Groupon offer is infecting victims’ computers with a virus. The e-mails pretend to come from Groupon and look nearly identical to the e-mails users receive when a friend shares a deal with them. Attached to the message is a file called “gift” This file contains a virus designed to infect Windows operating system. The e-mails often feature grammatical errors, as well. BBB reminds consumers to avoid clicking on any questionable links or attachments.

BBB warns consumers about a recent e-mail scam with the subject “Your Photos.” The body of the e-mail often says “as promised your photos” and provides a link to click on. BBB warns that this link contains a virus and advises consumers to delete the e-mail immediately. Consumers can test links by using their mouse to hover over them and viewing the destination link. BBB reminds consumers to avoid clicking on any questionable links or attachments, especially if the e-mail is from an unknown source.

BBB has been alerted that consumers are receiving calls from scam artists, who often claim to be with Microsoft Windows, regarding a virus on their computers. The scam artists tell consumers that they can fix the virus and request upfront payment. Consumers allege that the scam artists use high pressure tactics and make it difficult for them to end the conversation. BBB reminds consumers to never provide any credit card information or other personal information to an unknown caller.

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.