(GRAND RAPIDS, MI) March 8, 2018 - The caller tells you that you've missed payments and technicians are on their way to shut off power to your business. Luckily, the representative on the phone is a supervisor who can call-off the technicians and help your business keep the lights on, you just need to send the backed funds via MoneyPak as soon as possible. And since no one wants to lose a day of work because the power was shut off, you're willing to do whatever it takes to get paid up quickly.
This ploy was recently submitted to BBB's Scam Tracker by a business in Kalamazoo, MI and highlights how scammers devise all sorts of ways to create a sense of urgency and fear in their targets. And all too often, victims are then instructed to send money via non-refundable methods, and once sent, the money is gone for good.
That's why BBB wants to bring attention to situations like this because it reinforces why consumers need to stop, think, and researchbefore reacting to these types of solicitation.
Here are helpful tips to know if you're ever approached like this:
+ Don't send gift cards or money orders. These forms of payment should be treated like cash, meaning once given away, they are impossible to get back.
+ Call to verify. If you feel pressured for immediate payment or personal information, hang up the phone and call the business' customer service directly to ensure you are speaking to a real representative.
+ Don't answer calls from unknown numbers. Legitimate contacts will leave a message and, even if a scammer leaves a message, this will give you time to think about what is being asked of you.
+ Resist the urge to act immediately. No matter how dramatic the story is, stop and think before you act.
+ Don't pay over the phone. Never give your credit card or banking info to an unverified or anonymous caller.
+ Report it to Scam Tracker. This free resource provides a place to research and submit scam related information so BBB can investigate and educate consumers further.
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