Myrtle Beach, SC- Better Business Bureau of Coastal Carolina has received a high volume of calls recently from consumers stating that they were contacted by Robby Wright an 888-801 telephone number claiming to be from the BBB. The caller told the consumer they had been scammed and $500.00 had been taken out of their bank account. The caller then stated they needed information to assist in recovering money the consumer had lost to the scam. The caller asks the consumer to verify information such as their social security number, bank account information and credit cards. The caller captures this information and then asks the consumer to go to Wal-Mart and purchase 5 gift cards. The caller instructs the consumer to call them back with the card numbers. One of the victims was a 76 year old woman who when informed that it was the BBB calling cooperated as she was instructed. The consumer provided personal and financial information to the caller only questioning the caller when asked to go to Wal-Mart and purchase 5 gift cards. The consumer later called BBB to verify if it was us who called her. BBB of Coastal Carolina has informed the consumer that we did not contact her and it was in fact a scam. By this time the consumer had already given them all of her information which allows the caller to gain access to her identity. According to Dr. John D’Ambrosio, President and CEO of the BBB of Coastal Carolina “There is no shortage of people doing bad things. Consumers have to stay vigilant in looking out for their own interests. When in doubt, call the BBB and ask. Remember that you can always hang up on a caller that you think doesn’t have your best interest in mind.” BBB is currently investigating this scam and ask that anyone who has received these type calls to not provide any personal or financial information and follow the steps below. BBB does not reach out to consumers unless they have previously contacted our office for assistance. BBB does not solicit personal or financial information from consumers. BBB would not request that consumers purchase gift cards and provide us with the numbers. BBB does not charge consumers for our services. BBB instructs consumers who may have been contacted to: · Contact the Social Security Administration to report if someone may have access to your social security number. · Contact their financial institutions so that they can monitor transactions for potential fraud activity. · Contact the Credit Reporting Agencies to so that a freeze can be placed on their credit report. · Contact the Federal Trade Commission so that the scam can be documented in their system. Better Business Bureau Serving Coastal Carolina (BBB) advice to consumers: · First and foremost, do not answer calls from numbers you do not recognize. If it’s a legitimate contact, they will leave a message. Even if a scammer leaves a message, this will give you time to think about what is being asked of you.· Be cautious of those automated messages asking you to “Press 9” to be taken off of their call list. It’s best to just hang up. Pressing your keypad is another way to alert the caller that they have reached an active number, and they will continue to call and sell your number to other scammers as well.· Be aware that scammers are calling and impersonating legitimate businesses, organizations, and charities. The best thing you can do to prevent yourself from falling victim is to hang up, find the appropriate phone number, and call them directly to speak to a representative.· Join the Do Not Call Registry (DoNotCall.gov) to cut down on legitimate telemarketing and sales calls. Although it won’t stop scammers, you’ll get fewer calls, making it easier to spot the fraudulent ones.· Write down the phone number of those callers violating the Do Not Call Registry and file a scam report with BBB Scam Tracker and the FTC's Do Not Call List.· There’s an app for that! Nomorobo.com takes you off any phone call that comes in as a robo call (an automated or machine-made call). The best part? Nomorobo is free for your landline and only $1.99 for cell phones. “Look for the Seal” and Start with Trust®. BBB Serving Coastal Carolina is a private non-profit organization that strives for a trustworthy marketplace by maintaining standards for truthful advertising, investigating and exposing fraud against consumers and businesses. Please contact Better Business Bureau at (843) 488-2227 or at bbb.org 24 hours a day for information on businesses throughout North America. BBB Serving Coastal Carolina covers the counties of Darlington, Dillon, Florence, Georgetown, Horry, Marion, and Williamsburg in South Carolina. Bladen, Brunswick, Columbus, Cumberland, New Hanover, Pender, Robeson, and Sampson in North Carolina.