The Better Business Bureau is warning Kentuckians to avoid falling for a new scam that targets those wanting the new Apple i-Phone.
A bogus email is being reported that tells recipients that they have won an iPhone 5S through a promotional drawing, in an effort to get the would-be victim’s personal information. Similar scams are appearing on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter
“It’s absolutely bogus," said Reanna Smith-Hamblin, with the Better Business Bureau serving Louisville, southern Indiana, and western Kentucky. "Apple is not giving away free i-Phones, i-Pads, or anything of the sort. The company is not holding promotional awards, or lotteries, or drawings. So beware—if you see something like that, you can report it to Facebook as a scam.”
Smith-Hamblin says while the Apple-related scams have so far been conducted through e-mail and social media, she warns a similar phone scam is also likely in the near future.
Some senior citizens in our listening area have been the targets of a scam involving promises of a free medical alert system.
The Better Business Bureau office that serves Louisville, southern Indiana, and western Kentucky says the scammers tell those who pick up that someone has ordered them a free medical alert system, and that the call is intended to confirm shipping instructions.
"So then the person on the line is to told to press a button to speak to a customer service representative, and that person actually asks them for their personal information, including their credit card number for shipping fees,” says Reanna Smith-Hamblin, from the Better Business Bureau.
Reanna Smith-Hamblin with the Better Business Burea says it appears the scam is originating from an automated dialing system that can place thousands of calls a day. Smith-Hamblin advises anyone getting such calls to immediately hang up the phone.
Some scam artists are using phony grant offers to get money or personal information from consumers. The Better Business Bureau of Louisville, southern Indiana and Western Kentucky says they’ve received several complaints about fake offers for free federal grants. Some consumers have been offered “free” grants for education purposes, but were later asked to wire a $7,000 fee.
The Better Business Bureau says an organization identifying itself as the "Soldier Relief Fund" has been contacting some local businesses, asking for donations to sponsor a soldier for a one hundred dollar phone card. The consumer protection group says the founder of the fund was charged with fraud last year in connection with a charity scam in Indiana.
The Better Business Bureau says students seeking summer jobs should beware of newspaper or internet ads that promise extremely high pay and then tell the worker he or she must purchase expensive software or equipment for the job. Once the student sends money for the purchases, they may never hear from the company again, according BBB officials.
Officials with the Better Business Bureau say consumers who want to donate to help storm vicitims in the region should do a little background checking before they give money to organizations they don't recognize. Vice President of Communications Reanna Smith-Hamblin says on-line and door to door solicitations are sometimes used by con artists who are trying to steal someone's identity or get their cash.
In the aftermath of Wednesday's damaging storms, consumer protection specialists say picking the wrong contractor to do repair work can be very costly. The Better Business Bureau warns that home-repair rip-off artists frequently try to take advantage of storm damage situations. The consumer protection group says to beware of "door to door" solicitors who offer work at great prices.