Columbus, OH (June 8, 2020) – Consumers reported losing $222,772 to fraud in 2019. 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 May, Central Ohio consumers reported $8,300 lost to scams. BBB analyzed 83 Scam Tracker reports from May 2020 to shed a spotlight on scams affecting our Central Ohio community.
1. Puppy Scams: One consumer lost $830 to a puppy scam. He and his wife came across a Saint Bernard puppy for sale on Facebook and messaged the seller through Facebook messenger. The seller “insisted on payment using Cashapp”. After they sent the money to the scammer, the shipping company the scammer was using, “DropZipnet Logistics”, wanted “$1,000 for insurance because the dog was in Cincinnati at the border patrol office and would not move further without the life insurance premium being paid.” BBB offers the following tips to avoid a puppy scam: https://www.bbb.org/article/news-releases/22363-is-that-quarantine-puppy-real-puppy-scam-reports-skyrocket-during-covid-19-pandemic-bbb-warns
2. Data Breach Scam: A Marysville employee who works at a hotel reported that a scammer, calling himself “Michael Adams” was able to “[break] into [their] hotel computer system”. According to the hotel employee, Adams will call guests claiming they’ve been “double billed/overcharged due to a computer glitch in [their] system”. He then tells consumers he’s able to make a new reservation; he just needs their “credit card information”. BBB wants to remind consumers that if you want to check your hotel reservation, call the hotel directly: https://www.bbb.org/article/tips/14155-bbb-tip-booking-a-hotel-room
3. Rental Scams: One consumer lost $500 to a rental scam. They paid a scammer calling themselves “Eric Walk” $500 for a security deposit on a rental home. The consumer responded to the Craigslist ad Walk had posted and after paying the security deposit, Walk claimed the consumer was unable to view the rental because he was “out of town”. The consumer became suspicious and went to the property to speak directly to the inhabitants who confirmed the scam. Remember, if the owner is “out of town” and you are unable to see the property till you send the owner money, it’s most likely a scam: https://www.bbb.org/article/news-releases/21033-bbb-investigation-rental-scams
Consumers are encouraged to report scams to BBB Scam Tracker: https://www.bbb.org/scamtracker to help protect others in the Central Ohio community.
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