Columbus, OH – Each year, one in four North American households are scammed. Because money-loss and identity theft can happen to anyone, BBB encourages community members to protect and inform others by reporting any scam-related experiences to BBB’s Scam Tracker. In November, consumers reported losing a total of $5,513.
1. Sweepstakes Scam: A woman from Fredericktown received a call from an impostor claiming she had won the Publisher’s Clearinghouse. She was told the check would be delivered by a US Marshall escorted by the Ohio State Highway Patrol, but in order to receive the check she had to go to Kroger and get a money order for $395 while staying on the phone with the impostor. Consumers should know that no purchase, tax, payment, fee or money transfer is ever requested or required to collect a prize from a legitimate sweepstakes or company.
3. Overseas Online Company Scam: A Columbus businessman paid $1,200 for parts he ordered from China, but never received the parts and was out the money he paid. BBB suggests consumers do their research before purchasing from an online company, especially any that may be out of the country. It’s important to look for reviews, a phone number, a physical address, and a return/exchange policy. BBB also recommends using a credit card so you can dispute the charges if there is an issue.
BBB Scam Tracker is a free interactive online tool. The Tracker is available with every BBB in the United States and Canada as a resource for locating and reporting scams and fraud. Consumers can report malicious activity and view a heat map showing where local scams are happening.
For more than 100 years, Better Business Bureau has been helping people find businesses, brands and charities they can trust. In 2015, people turned to BBB more than 172 million times for BBB Business Reviews on more than 5.3 million businesses and Charity Reports on 11,000 charities, all available for free at bbb.org. BBB serving Central Ohio was founded in 1921, and serving 21 counties in Ohio, is one of 113 local, independent BBBs in the United States, Canada and Mexico.