Scam Artist Uses 4 Sacramento Businesses as a Front to Lure Victims

  
     
April 12, 2017

WEST SACRAMENTO, CALIF., – Better Business Bureau (BBB) is warning social media users of a scam artist who is using four Sacramento businesses as a front in order to scheme innocent people into sending him money.

The alleged businesses include: Brad Computers Co., Bran Computers Co., B & M Computers Co., and J&M Computers Co.  Click here to browse or report scams to the BBB Scam Tracker!

According to their websites, three of the four businesses sell computers and computer accessories. Each lists a different physical address as their location, all in Sacramento. However, BBB has been unable to confirm any of these locations, or the legitimacy of the businesses. All currently have an ‘F’ rating.

Victims were typically contacted by the alleged business owner on dating and travel websites. He uses different variations of the names Brad, Michael, James, and Brandon. Most victims say they talked to the owner over email, one victim by phone. In some instances he waited months before asking for money, but others say that he asked for money just a few short days after initiating a conversation.

When he does ask for money, he claims he needs it to help pay for tariffs to receive international goods for his business. Once the money is sent, typically via wire transfer, he stops responding. Victims are both female and male.

Better Business Bureau urges consumers to remember not to send money or personal information to people you do not know, and to report scams at bbb.org/scamtracker. Click here to learn more about romance scams. 

How to avoid a romance scam: 

  • Ask them to video chat. Ask the person to chat over a live video connection such as Skype, Facetime, or Google Hangout. If they avoid you, or claim they’re too busy, this is a red flag and you’re probably dealing with a catfish.
  • Do a reverse image search. An Internet criminal never uses their own picture, but what can be more surprising is that they often use a picture of a famous model or singer. Do a reverse image search on your Internet browser by uploading the picture directly, or by providing a link if the image is online.
  • Do a web search for the business. If the person you’re talking to claims to own a business, verify the business at bbb.org. Look for any alerts, complaints, or reviews.
  • Copy and paste their email into your web browser. Many scam artists do not take the time to write original emails to each of their victims, and often use the same sob story every time. Copy and paste some of the email into your web browser - you may be surprised by what you find.
  • Don’t be ashamed to report the scammer. If you are the victim of a romance scam, come forward and share your story with others. Report it to your local Better Business Bureau at bbb.org/scamtracker. Click here to learn more about romance scams.