BBB Scams - July


Moving Scams continue to cause financial and emotional nightmares

Moving is always stressful even in the best of times but now some people are being forced to move because of job loss or even the loss of a loved one. Scammers take advantage of your high stress and emotions and count on you to let your guard down.

Unfortunately, some consumers find their stress compounded by fraudulent movers who charge them many times the amount quoted, subject them to unreasonably long delivery windows, or even hold their items hostage for additional undisclosed fees and leave them with damaged goods.

BBB receives an average of 13,000 complaints and negative reviews about movers each year, with many complaints describing how experiences with dishonest moving companies have turned into financial and emotional nightmares.

How the scam works:

-The moving company may have a well-designed website claiming years of experience, lots of satisfied customers, and appropriate licensing.

-While these fake movers may present themselves as a local business, they’re often based out of state and hire local people to do the move.

-A huge red flag that you’re dealing with a scam mover is they quote you a price without doing an in-person inspection of your belongings.

-Without that inspection of exactly what you want moved, they can’t provide an accurate estimate

-And without an accurate written estimate they’ll likely demand more money before they unload your things at your destination.And they’ll demand that money in cash.

-Sometimes the scammers may not even deliver your things until days or even weeks after you move in, holding your belongings hostage till you pay additional fees.

-And since this is about the scam rather than the move, they take little care with your items, and your items may end up damaged or lost.

-BBB receives an average of 13,000 complaints and negative reviews about movers each year.

-There are 1,335 movers across the US with a BBB “F” rating. There were 4.7 million people who moved last year.

How to Avoid: Look up mover’s license number, which every mover should have, on the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s website. Check out their BBB business profile at BBB.org, and look for reviews and potential complaints.

Duke Energy Scam

●Utility scams are one of the most common scams across the board.

●Scammers call you pretending to be an employee of your utility company threatening to disconnect your service because you’re late with your payment.

●Even the caller ID says the call is from your utility company.But that spoof is all part of the con.

●They demand you pay your account in full immediately with a prepaid debit card, giftcard, or wire transfer. (Which should be an immediate red flag in any scenario)

●And in a new twist on the refund scam scammers promise to mail you a refund check for your overpayment of your utility bill, if you confirm personal information like your date of birth and social security number.

●Of course, there never was an overpayment and there will never be a refund check.

Fake COVID-19 Fund

●People have reported receiving an email, text message, or social media message stating they’re gettin money from a COVID-19 “Global Empowerment Fund” or other similarly named fund and it comes from a legitimate staff person at the Federal Trade Commission.

●All you have to do is respond to the message with bank account information and the funds will be directly transferred into your account.

●The problem is there is no such fund and no such money will be deposited into your account. And if there was, then the organization wouldn’t be emailing and texting you about it.

●If you get an email like this, or a friend shares a similar message with you, remind them no government agency will not contact you through email, text, or social media. And they will not ask for bank account or personal information.

Fake COVID-19 antibody tests

●A real antibody test screens blood for antibodies made when your body fights off an infection. The World Health Organization says the presence of antibodies determine if you have had COVID-19.

●Fake tests that are purchased online often provide false test results. These advertisements are found on social media sites, like Facebook and Instagram. The website has no physical address, no phone number, and no contact information of any kind.

●On top of fake test results, people selling the fake kits take your personal information, or even Medicare or health insurance information.

●This can lead to identity theft and insurance fraud.

●The government will not contact you through social media, and they are not requiring self-administered antibody testing.

●FDA.gov has a list of approved antibody test kits.