BBB October Scams


Torch Awards This Month

Cincinnati’s premier ethics-centered awards event is gearing up to celebrate all those who made 2017’s marketplace a place of passion and purpose. Paul E. Fiorelli, J.D./M.B.A., of Cintas Institute for Business Ethics and Xavier University, will take the stage as the Torch Awards’ esteemed keynote speaker with his presentation - “The Value of Values: Why We Should Care About Ethics” - a stirring presentation on why ethics should be on the forefront of our minds . . . and how we can keep it there. It’s time to light the torch. Come and see.

2017 BBB Torch Awards for Marketplace Ethics

October 20th

12:00 pm - 2:00 pm

Burnham Hall, Renaissance Hotel

36 East 4th Street Cincinnati, OH 45202

Reserve your seat now - visit

Businesses are Aware of Cyber Threats

In the coming years, cybercrime is expected to cost the global economy over $2 trillion by 2019. However, some small businesses are becoming more aware of the threats and are taking some proactive steps to protect themselves from online risks

Of the 1,100 businesses surveyed in a recent BBB study, approximately half reported that they would only make a profit for one month after the loss of essential data. One of the key findings is that the National Institute Standards and Technology (NIST) Cybersecurity Framework is becoming mandatory in some markets. Normally, this participation is voluntary, but businesses are finding these standards are helping them run a better business and keep their data safe.

Some businesses may be hesitant to implement a full cyber plan, and BBB’s report reflects that. It encourages educating and training employees in how to recognize risks and performing a cost-benefit analysis before implementing a full cybersecurity plan. For example, investing in a $10,000 solution for what could be a $5,000 risk is not the best option for the owner of a small business. An evaluation gives business owners an idea of the risks they face when it comes to a cyberattack. It also provides potential avenues to protect information from ransomware, phishing, or malware. Business owners are aware of the threats, and many often have basic measures in place to protect themselves. Antivirus software like firewalls are a good first step, but the most cost-effective measure is employee education, and it is the least likely to be used.

To better prepare both your business and your employees for future cyber threats, visit

Watch out for Fake/Soundalikes Charities in Wake of Vegas Shootings

State and federal authorities are warning that con artists posing as family members of Las Vegas shooting victims are setting up fake Facebook and crowdfunding campaigns, hoping to siphon off donations intended for those killed or wounded in the attack.

Crooks habitually seek to exploit natural disasters and other tragedies, including the October 1 massacre at a music festival in Nevada, which killed and wounded hundreds of others in what is now the deadliest shooting in modern U.S. history. Setting up overnight "charities" and bogus victim donation pages, criminals sometimes even use the names of real victims to attract financial contributions.

Before making a donation, search the charity’s name online using BBB’s website and read the report. Watch for charities that seem to have sprung up overnight in connection with current events and don’t assume that plea for help posted on crowdfunding sites or social media are legitimate. Real victims’ photos and stories can be copied and pasted from other sources. Report any suspicious organizations to BBB’s Scam tracker or the Federal Trade Commission.

Medicare Enrollment or Renewal? Protect Your ID!

Medicare beneficiaries need to be on the lookout for scammers targeting them for a different kind of ID theft - one that revolves around medical care. Medical identity theft is different than regular identity theft - it’s when someone uses your personal information to obtain medical care, buy prescription drugs, or submit fake billings in your name instead of setting up false credit cards or withdrawing cash. 

Fraudsters will often pose as employees from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) or some other false agency with a similar-sounding name. They’ll typically claim Medicare card holders are being issued new cards so they need to replace their current cards. The scammer states that in order to receive the new card, the recipient has to verify or update sensitive information - including their Medicare number - which is associated with a Social Security number. Medicare officials have stated they don’t contact patients and ask for personal information like their Medicare or Social Security number via phone or email.

Unsolicited, unexpected phone calls are one more way scammers use to try and obtain seniors' Medicare information. These calls are usually characterized by an insistent sales pitch for medical services or prescription drug coverage. If the sales pitch is denied, the caller claims that because the person did not take advantage of the deal, their Medicare benefits will be terminated. Medicare services like prescription drug coverage are supplemental to Medicare benefits and are a voluntary service, meaning that it’s not necessary to sign up or renew them in order to continue receiving benefits. Any phone calls or allegations otherwise are a scam.

If you haven't requested information from the organization or haven't asked for an agent to contact you, resist reacting to a sales pitch from an uninvited source. Federal law prohibits sales communication of any kind - this includes phone calls, emails, or door-to-door drop-ins - with someone if they have requested not to be approached with solicitation messages. If someone tries to sell you something on behalf of Medicare or is requesting your personal information, contact the Office of the Inspector General and report that person. BBB also recommends reporting any Medicare fraud to and to BBB's Scam Tracker.

Brian Thomas

Brian Thomas

Based in Cincinnati, OH, the Brian Thomas Morning Show covers news and politics, both local and national, from a conservative point of view. Read more


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