LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Scams surrounding Hurricane Laura are a new twist in the ongoing effort to steal your money by trickery, the Better Business Bureau of Louisvile and Western Kentucky warns in its latest Hot Tops release.
Give to experienced organizations that you know and trust, said Reanna Smith-Hamblin, president/CEO of the BBB, which also serves Southern Indiana. Be wary of claims that 100% of the donation will assist relief victims.
Don’t fall for pushy appeals for donations. A legitimate charity will take your donation any time. For more tips, check out BBB’s Wise Giving Alliance at www.give.org.
Other Hot Topics advice and reminders are:
- Don’t fall for a text message claiming to be a package delivery notice. Companies like DHL, FedEx, UPS and Amazon won’t send a text like this. Don’t click on the link. Block the number that sent you the message. Copy the message and paste it into a new text message and send to the Federal Trade Commission at 7726.
- A local consumer bought a pressure cooker online, for a great price. The website asked her to pay through PayPal. The website disappeared, and the consumer received a package that was facemasks that she didn’t order. Scammers are using tracking numbers to con consumers and are exploiting a PayPal policy showing that a “package” was actually delivered, therefore consumers are not getting their money back for items they didn’t order. It’s a tracking code trick that is costing online shoppers.
- Scammers are tricking job seekers after they post their resume on indeed or other online job boards. A local consumer received an email from a “business” offering her a job to inspect packages. The scammers asked for bank account information to direct deposit a paycheck. This is a scam.
- Double check that email from your “boss.” A local consumer received an email from her “boss” asking her to purchase six $200 Amazon gift cards for staff. It was to be a surprise, so keep it confidential. The employee bought the gift cards, then was told by the “boss” to scratch the back of the cards, take a picture of the codes, and email them. This is a scam.
- Beware of fake grant offers. A local consumer received a message through Facebook Messenger from an “Agent Tom Brown,” who appeared to be from the Home Care and Family Support Grant Program – with the U.S. Government. To qualify for a cash grant, the consumer had to fill out an application that asked for personal information. Don’t fall for it. The government is not going to contact you via FB Messenger.
- Don’t fall for a Microsoft Office 365 scam. This latest scam comes in an email that says your password expires TODAY, and you can change your password or keep using the same password, just click on this link. It’s a fake site that phishes for personal information.
- Don’t fall for student loan scams. Scammers contact borrowers saying their loan has been forgiven under a lawsuit settlement involving a major lender. The scammers pretend to be the loan company and tell the victims they must pay an upfront fee to have the debt removed.
- Before you sign up for the Noom App, consider this. Consumers have filed over a thousand complaints alleging Noom, a popular app-based weight loss service, offers misleading free trials and that subscriptions are difficult to cancel after the free trial is complete, and they end up getting charged for a monthly membership. The company has a “D rating” with BBB due to a high volume of complaints and the company’s failure to address the issue. Be wary of “free trial offers!”
- Con artists are impersonating internet, cable tv, or electricity company representatives claiming to offer a great deal on your bill. If you pay several months upfront, you will receive a discount or free perks. The scammer asks you to purchase pre-paid debit cards to make the up-front payment. Don’t do it!
You can contact BBB Serving Louisville, Southern Indiana, and Western Kentucky in Louisville at (502) 588-0043 or bbb.org.