A BBB investigation into three metro Jackson businesses discovers they don’t exist. Complete Carpet Cleaning, Fresh Air Duct Cleaning, and Independance Federal Title Services were brought to the attention of Better Business Bureau serving Mississippi through BBB ScamTracker. ScamTracker is a tool that was introduced in 2015 that allows consumers to report scams online. It also allows people to see what scams are currently going on in their area. “When our investigators tried to communicate with and even visit these businesses, no business existed” says John O’Hara CEO of BBB serving Mississippi “This is why we encourage Mississippians to do their homework before they do business”.
When you go to make a purchase, you’re likely to turn to the Internet, and like a good consumer, you do your research. You look for complaints, and customer reviews, but what if there’s nothing to find? It’s as if the company popped up overnight. How are you supposed to know if they’re legitimate or not? If you come across an online business with no substantial online presence, know how to recognize the signs of a phony business.
Check out the company's links.
Social media icons are a good place to start. For example, many scam websites will link to facebook.com instead of facebook.com/THEIRCOMPANY. If they do have social media accounts, consider how active they are, and if any of their followers have posted reviews or voiced complaints.
What about images?
Look at the images on every page of the site and see if they are sized properly. Also look for any spelling, or grammatical errors. Legitimate businesses can make mistakes too, but if a website if full of them, it could be the sign of a scam.
Watch out for outlandish endorsements.
Many fake companies will use phony endorsements to try to legitimize their product or services. They may even use a local media station, or sport a fake BBB Accreditation in attempt to gain your trust. If a company does make these claims, verify with the source directly.
Lookup the company’s address.