The BBB in Southeast Texas has received an increase in calls from consumers reporting a variety of scams.
Fortunately, the majority of those who contacted the BBB were able to avoid being victimized, as they did not allow the scammers to pressure them into making poor decisions like providing their personal information. “Scammers are constantly changing their tactics in an effort gain a victim’s trust,” states Jay Sheppard, Dispute Resolution Director of the BBB in SE Texas. Consumers should be aware of the following scam scenarios:
Calls from 888-997-3806 - If you receive a call from this number; or, any number claiming that your debit or credit card may be restricted, DO NOT provide your personal information. If you have a concern, contact your credit card company or bank directly.
Medical Alert Phone Scam – Thisis typically an automated call claiming that someone has ordered a medical alert system for a senior as a gift to help protect them in case of medical emergency or break-in. The message then asks them to press a button to speak to a customer service representative. The fake “representative” then asks for the seniors’ credit card for shipping cost. The BBB recommends hanging up the phone immediately without speaking or pushing any buttons.
Emergency or Grandparent Scam – This scam plays off of people’s emotions and desire to help others in need. Scammers impersonate the victim’s loved ones, often using information that they have picked up on social media. They make up an urgent situation stating, “I’ve been arrested” or “I’m in the hospital”. Then, they ask for money to be wired. DO NOT fall for this. Make certain to check and verify the caller really is who they claim to be before you offer any help.
Deceptive Professionals –Some scammers knock on the door, claiming to be experts in their fields. These so called professionals can mislead you about the extent of problems with your home and then inflate prices in an attempt to profit off trusting consumers. Advice: Find trustworthy professionals by researching them at www.bbb.org
For more information, go to Scam Stopper at: www.bbb.org/scam-stopper for more information and tips on what to watch out for. Learn about common scams, the science of scams, and how scammers use the psychological tactics to prey on victims. You can also “Report a Scam”, and signup for weekly “BBB Scam Alerts”.