Fraud Attempts Reported from Online Holiday Shopping
Consumers Call BBB After Potential Scammer Offers Grand Prize
Austin, TX - December 28, 2010 – Online customers of a national retail store are being targeted in a possible online shopping grand prize give away scheme. BBB has received multiple complaints from consumers who have shopped online in recent weeks and as a result, are being targeted by phone for a false giveaway.
Consumers complain that callers are requesting upfront fees to redeem their prize of gift cards ranging from $200 - $500. Janet Searing of San Antonio contacted BBB as a result of having received one of these calls. “I just don’t want this to happen to anybody else,” said Searing. “The caller had my name, my phone number, my address and even the last four digits of my credit card number.” In her complaint to BBB, Mrs. Searing received an invalid number to call back.
BBB offers the following advice for avoiding sweepstakes scams:
· You cannot win a sweepstakes if you did not enter. Even if the organization is well known, unsolicited phone calls or emails from organizations you did not seek out should raise concern.
· Never give personal information over the phone. Take the time to verify what the caller is claiming by visiting BBB.org to look up the organization they are representing.
· A true sweepstakes will not make its winner pay fees. Many scams involve mailing or wiring a portion of the prize back for fees or taxes. Legitimate prizes do not come with processing fees and taxes are paid directly to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) after winnings are collected.
Consumers with complaints about possible telemarketing fraud should contact BBB and the Federal Trade Commission at ftc.gov.To check the reliability of a company and find trustworthy businesses, visit BBB.org.
About Better Business Bureau:
BBB's mission is to be the leader in advancing marketplace trust. BBB accomplishes this mission by creating a community of trustworthy businesses, setting standards for marketplace trust, encouraging and supporting best practices, celebrating marketplace role models and denouncing substandard marketplace behavior.
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Contact BBB serving Central, Coastal and Southwest Texas at (512) 445-4748.