BBB Scams - September


PhoneyTextMessagePackageDeliveryScamSweepingtheTri-State

The Tri-State has seen a recent uptick in fake package delivery text messages from scammers posing as a legitimate delivery service, like U.S.P.S or FedEx. Last week alone, our BBB Scam Tracker received 6 complaints on this scam and one of our BBB employees received 2 texts in a single day trying to lure her in.

These text messages address you by your first name, along with an ‘urgent notice’. There’s also a link at the bottom of the text that prompts you to click on to ‘take action immediately’. Some of the texts say something like “You’ve received a package on behalf of a friend. Please schedule

a delivery here” or “We’ve just come across a package that should have been delivered months ago. Please assume ownership and confirm for delivery”.

There are variations on the verbiage in the text message, but all end with the hope that you click on the link. If you do, your device could be at risk of accidentally installing malware and personal information being stolen which can also lead to identity theft.

If you do receive a text message like this, block the phone number, delete the message, and absolutely do not click on the link provided.

HowtoSafelyDonatetoNaturalDisasterReliefFunds

After a disaster or very public tragedy, such as the recent hurricanes in the southern U.S. and the wildfires in California, people want to help in any way possible, and that often means contributing to fundraisers to help the survivors and the families of the victims.

Sadly, scammers often take advantage of these moments of vulnerability to deceive donors. In addition, there are often campaigns set up by well-meaning individuals who may not be able to deliver on promised relief activities.

When disasters like this happen, it’s natural for people to want to give money, supplies, or anything that might help those in need. Emotions and scams do not mix well. That’s why scammers like to prey on people who want to help out in situations like this.

BBB’sTipsforSafeGiving

Research Crowdfunded Pages - A common way to raise money is to use online crowdfunding

sites where you can donate money directly to a specific fundraiser. While those websites are legitimate, the intentions behind any given fundraiser may not match the cause. The platform itself does not vet each fundraiser, so you can’t be 100% sure of where money ends up.

Donate Directly - It’s best to donate directly to a recognized charity rather than through a crowdfunding website. It’s very easy for someone to say “I’m raising money on behalf of such and such organization” then pocket the money that was raised.

Wait to Give - Don’t feel pressure to donate immediately. The need will continue for weeks, months and years in some cases. That’s why it’s important to donate through a trustworthy non-profit. You can sometimes designate your money to a specific cause if that’s important to you, or trust the non-profit to use your donation appropriately to help those in need.

Consider Holding Off on Donating Supplies - Unless there’s been a specific call for supplies, it’s usually best to donate money.There are many logistical considerations when transporting supplies, like ensuring the supplies end up in the correct location, and distributing supplies before it potentially pershises. Charities in the business of helping with disaster relief know what to do and how to do it, and giving money may be the fastest way to help get what they need to get to the people who need to get it.

Visit Give.org - BBB accredited charities as well as businesses. Give.org is the first place you should visit when considering where to donate. They have lists of vetted charities that are assisting in specific disasters as well as all types of national and localcharities that meet BBB standards of charitable giving.

If you’re suspicious of a scam or have fallen victim, always report it! Report your scam to

Scamtracker.org, or call your Cincinnati BBB at 513-421-3015.