BBB Issues December 2019 Scam Spotlight

Columbus, OH (January 8, 2020) – People reported losing $1.48 billion to fraud last year – an increase of 38% over 2017.

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, Central Ohio consumers reported $3,591 lost to scams.
BBB analyzed 48 Scam Tracker reports from December 2019 to shed a spotlight on two scams affecting our Central Ohio community:

1. Online Purchases: An Obetz consumer lost $500 when they were looking to buy a puppy online. The consumer found the puppies on petfinder.com and they paid $500 for the puppies to be delivered to their home. They received a receipt as well as tracking information. Instead of receiving the puppies, the consumer received an email and a phone call claiming that the puppies were “being held in New Mexico because of cold temperatures” and that they needed $750 for a “special crate.” When the consumer went to check the tracking information, it had been deleted. BBB offers the following tips to avoid falling victim to an online purchase scam and conducted a study on how puppy scams are affecting millions across the country.

2. Tech Support Scams: A Circleville consumer lost $1,600 to a tech support scam when they let a scammer have remote access to their electronics. The consumer received a pop-up on their iPad saying their “network had just been compromised, along with a message from Apple Tech Support saying to contact them right away” and then listed a phone number. When the consumer called, an individual picked up who claimed their name was “Ethan” and that the consumer needed to “reinstate” their Apple Care through him so that “tech support could fix the malware problem on [their] network.” Ethan told the consumer they would need to pay $1599.99 for lifetime coverage. The consumer then allowed a second individual to have remote access to their two computers and “proceeded to run several apps on both computers.” After the consumers computers had been “fixed”, they started receiving emails from services@pcfixer247.com and they became suspicious. BBB wants to remind consumers to never give over control of your computer to a third party.

Consumers are encouraged to report scams to BBB Scam Tracker to help protect others in the Central Ohio community.
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