Fraudulent phone calls luring victims from their homes
BBB cautions consumers to confirm calls before leaving home
AUSTIN, Texas - Sept. 27, 2011 – Better Business Bureau advises consumers to be wary of unsolicited calls claiming they have won gift cards from local stores. The scam is meant to lure people away from their homes, giving burglars the opportunity to break in.
Consumers will receive a call from someone alleging to be from a local store. The unknown caller claims the consumer has won a gift card and asks the consumer to come to the store and claim his or her prize.
When the consumers arrive at the store to claim the prize, they find out that there is no gift card and there never was. Once they return home, they discover their house has been burglarized.
BBB recommends the following tips to protect you from becoming a victim:
· Ask questions. Callers should identify who they are, who they work for and how you supposedly won the prize. Generally, you cannot win a prize if you have not entered a contest.
· Be cautious of unknown callers. If someone calls stating you have “won” or been “gifted” or “prized” with anything of value, think twice and act smart. Especially if the callers use the name of an official entity, make certain that you go “off the call” and contact the official entity to confirm the information.
· Report all suspicious behavior. If you fall victim to a similar scam, report the burglary immediately to your local police so they can begin an investigation. To check the reliability of a company and find trustworthy businesses, visit bbb.org.
About Better Business Bureau:
BBB's mission is to be the leader in advancing marketplace trust. BBB accomplishes this mission by creating a community of trustworthy businesses, setting standards for marketplace trust, encouraging and supporting best practices, celebrating marketplace role models and denouncing substandard marketplace behavior.
Businesses that earn BBB Accreditation contractually agree and adhere to the organization's high standards of ethical business behavior. BBB is the preeminent resource to turn to for objective, unbiased information on businesses and charities.
Contact BBB serving Central, Coastal, Southwest Texas and the Permian Basin at (512) 445-4748.