HOUSTON (KTRK) —
The BBB’s Top 10 Scams of 2014
Microsoft/computer scamsA addition claims to be from Microsoft or a adumbrative from addition computer software company. The addition offers to break a computer botheration or advertise a software authorization in an accomplishment to accretion alien ascendancy of the consumer’s computer, and after requests a fee for service. Consistently analysis out a aggregation aboriginal and alone appoint trusted adjustment businesses. Microsoft does not accomplish unsolicited buzz calls for computer help.
IRS scamsPeople address accepting calls from “IRS representatives” who affirmation they owe taxes and allegation pay or a accreditation will be issued for their arrest. Or, they affirmation the IRS is advancing a accusation adjoin you and you allegation accomplish a acquittal immediately. The IRS never uses buzz calls for accumulating purposes. Instead, they alone acquaintance taxpayers via U.S. mail.
Grant scamsConsumers address unsolicited buzz calls advice there is a admission for them, but they accept to pay a fee in adjustment to aggregate it. Grants do not accept to be repaid; appropriately there is no allegation to use the chat “free.” Organizations do not usually accord out grants for claimed debt consolidation, or to pay for added claimed needs. Grants are usually accustomed alone to serve a amusing good, such as bringing jobs to an area, training under-employed youth, attention a bit of history, etc. Be alert if you are asked to accommodate money upfront to an alien aggregation afore the aggregation will accommodate the casework promised.
Phony balance scamsThis betray affects businesses and consumers. They accept what looks like a accepted balance in the mail or via email for a face-lifting for a bi-weekly or a magazine. It turns out to be a solicitation. Best newspapers balance their barter anon and do not use third affair billing.
Caller ID bluffing scamsNew technology allows scammers to now change the name of the addition ID on the phones, which in best cases allows them to affectation as a business or bounded law administration agency. In one scenario, scammers alleged and told the being on the added band there is a accreditation out for their arrest, but they can pay a accomplished to abstain bent charges.
Home advance scamsWhether it is base assignment from green or actionable company, or so alleged “invisible” aliment that are adamantine for consumers to ascertain on their own, the home advance betray is consistently around. This includes aliment to roofs, chimneys, air ducts, clamber spaces, etc. Scammers may beating at your aperture alms a abundant accord because they were in the neighborhood, but abounding are axis to telemarketing, amusing media, and email to ability consumers. BBB reminds consumers to analysis out home contractors at bbb.org afore adage yes.
Data breachesTarget, Home Depot, Michaels, PF Changs – these are aloof a few of the companies afflicted by abstracts breaches in the accomplished year. Do not bang on unsolicited emails or amusing media messages. Call your coffer to see if your annual was afflicted if you haven’t heard from them. Consistently adviser your acclaim statements carefully.
Charity scamsWith the acceptance of the viral “Ice Bucket Challenge” and the deaths of celebrities, scammers are consistently aggravating to booty advantage of people’s generosity. Never bang on links in unsolicited alms emails or on amusing media, and consistently analysis out a alms at give.org.
Identity annexation scamsEvery two seconds, addition becomes a victim of character fraud. Every year, millions of Americans accept their identities stolen. According to Javelin Research, that cardinal was 13.1 actor in 2013. Proper certificate shredding and attention claimed advice online are two accomplished means to advice anticipate character theft.
Advance fee accommodation scamsThis about takes abode online. Consumers accept emails from “loan companies” adage they are “pre-approved with no acclaim check” for a loan. Bodies are again answerable hundreds of dollars to absolution the aboriginal payment, usually through a wire transfore or a GreenDot money card. Reputable accommodation companies consistently do acclaim checks on abeyant customers. They do not accost over email, nor do they allegation bodies hundreds of dollars up advanced for a loan.
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