Columbus (January 16, 2017) – 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 December, consumers reported losing a total of $8,665.
BBB analyzed Scam Tracker reports from December 2016 to shed a spotlight on five scams affecting our Central Ohio community:
1. Puppy Scam: Five consumers shopped for a puppy online, with three losing a combined total of close to $2,000. Each of the websites used false addresses in Central Ohio. BBB encourages consumers to search for breeders at bbb.org, check for reviews and always visit the breeder in person.
2. Online Games: A young woman from St. Perry, Ohio lost $600 playing an online game. BBB urges consumers to research any game prior to playing. Before downloading an application, read reviews in the app store and also run an online search of the application and name of the developer to learn about other’s experiences.
3. Overseas Online Company: Four consumers purchased sports clothing from websites which appear to be in China. The consumers did not receive the clothes they ordered and paid for. BBB suggests consumers research any online company before purchasing products. Besides reviews and comments, look for a phone number, physical address and return policy. Use a credit card if possible so you can dispute the charges later if there is a problem.
4. Business ID Theft: Battelle’s name is being misused on the website Ohio Means Jobs. A woman from Lyons, Ohio responded to a job posting supposedly listed by Battelle. She was told she would need to purchase office equipment and received a check for $2,300. She wired the money back to them, however the check was a fake and she now owes her bank money for the phony check deposit. BBB has added an alert to Battelle’s Business Profile and representatives from Battelle have advised their attorney of the misuse.
Ohio Means Jobs posts this Scam Warning on their site:
OhioMeansJobs.com takes measures to protect users from misinformation and internet fraud. However, all users are reminded that fraudulent job activities can appear on this and other websites and may appear to be legitimate job opportunities. Be wary of online business opportunities, work-at-home promises, and sites or postings that request personal information. Please keep in mind that most employers will conduct a personal face-to-face interview prior to offering an employment opportunity. Identity theft is a significant and potentially costly problem, and internet users should never provide their Social Security numbers, birth dates, credit card numbers, checking account information or other private information when responding to job opportunities online.
This website administrator has made every attempt to reduce inappropriate job postings, but users should be cautious and use their best judgment. OhioMeansJobs.com recommends conducting additional research to learn more about an employer before applying for a job. Nothing contained in or available via this website shall constitute an affiliation, sponsorship or endorsement by the State of Ohio, partner agencies or the hosting site of any employers using the site, or of the respective products and services they may buy, sell or otherwise provide.
5. Phony Job Offer: A Columbus woman reported losing $3,500 to a job scam. She posted her resume on Zip Recruiter and began emailing a potential employer who used the name “IDT Telecom”. She was told she needed to purchase office equipment and received a check for just under $5,000. She now owes her bank money after wiring the money to “IDT Telecom” via Moneygram. BBB wants job-seekers to be wary of any employers who do not meet with you face-to-face, but instead send you money to purchase equipment. A job should not require you to buy supplies, and being asked to wire money is a red flag.
For more information on finding businesses you can trust, follow your BBB on Facebook, Twitter, and at bbb.org. To find or report scams in your area, visit BBB Scam Tracker.
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.