The Better Business Bureau has released its list of the latest scams and bad business.
Grandparents Scam - Local grandparents are getting calls from scammers who are pretending to be their grandchild, or an authority figure saying their grandchild is in trouble outside of the country. The scammer says the grandchild was in an accident or arrested and needs money wired for help. Grandparents are losing thousands of dollars from this scam.
"Relative" Phone Scams - Callers claiming to be police officers have been making calls, telling victims that their relatives have been arrested while on vacation and need money wired to them. In Bowling Green, one victim wired more than $6,000 to a phony police officer and learned afterward that his relative was safe at work. Do not to give out any personal financial information on the phone and never wire money to a stranger.
Grocery Savings Direct - Local consumers have been receiving calls from (866) 318-5148, which is associated with "Grocery Savings Direct." This is a scam. The company is trying to get credit card information by offering $1,000 in groceries for only one small charge on a card. Consumers claim the company is harassing in nature when they are called. Beware of any phone or e-mail scams offering too-good-to-be-true offers.
Door-to-Door Sales are prevalent. Every year, BBBs across the country receive thousands of complaints on door-to-door magazine and alarm system sales. Anytime someone comes to a doorstep, be wary of his or her intentions and fully verify the individual and company. Be aware of high-pressure sales tactics, stand strong and know consumer rights. Don't be bullied into a quick decision.
Summer Jobs - When searching for a job this summer, make sure to not fall for a get-rich-quick scheme. Be wary of jobs posted on Craigslist and in classified sections before getting all the details. These jobs include suspicious "babysitter," "assistant" and "driver" jobs. Never give personal information to strangers and remember to check out a company's Business Review with BBB.
Hotel Scam - Scam artists are taking advantage of hotel guests across the country. The scammer calls the hotel guest in the middle of the night claiming to be a hotel employee and saying the hotel computer system crashed and asking for a credit card number. The caller offers a discount for the inconvenience. If there is ever a problem with billing, hotel staff will handle it at the front desk and not over the phone.
MoneyPak Scams - BBBs are seeing a spike in scams that ask for people to use MoneyPak, a reloadable debit card. They are normally used to make same-day payments or add money to prepaid cards or PayPal accounts. Some Craigslist ads requiring payment by MoneyPak have been found. MoneyPak scams could be the new wire transfer scam. Remember that any website requesting payment only via MoneyPak is likely fraudulent.
Craigslist Scam - Users on Craigslist may receive a false e-mail, purportedly from a staff member or Craigslist official, telling them that they won a contest for a free iPad, washer/dryer or other valuable item. These false e-mails may try to collect users' personal information.
Gmail Scam - Be wary of e-mails claiming to be from Google Support. The e-mail claims the recipient will lose his or her Gmail account if he or she does not reply with the account's username and password and other personal information within seven days of receiving the message. The message is not from Google. It is a phishing scam designed to steal the recipient's Gmail login details. If a recipient replies with the requested information, Internet scammers can then hijack his or her Gmail account and use it for further criminal activities.
Social Security Card Scam - Websites claiming to offer replacement Social Security cards are phony. These websites request payment upfront and then refer consumers to a nearby Social Security office where they can pick up their new card. Victims that fell for the ploy and went to the Social Security office were told the website was not legitimate and they do not require payment for replacement Social Security cards. Consumers are advised that it's important to be careful when doing Internet searches to find government agencies. There are many fake websites that look official and are designed solely to defraud consumers.