Monday, January 3, 2011

Scams of the Week: Jan 3, 2011

Penny Auctions - There are legitimate penny auctions and even some are BBB Accredited, but the scam sites far outnumber the legitimate sites. These sites have outstanding looking products like big screen HDTVs, cameras, golf clubs, etc. and the bids increase by only a penny at a time. The auctions makes lots of money because they sell bids.  Each bid costs the bidder a dollar, so even if they lose the auction, they spend money. It's like gambling to win auction items. The scam sites post fake auctions as an incentive, drive up bids with fake bidders (shilling), don't deliver products, steal personal information such as credit card or bank numbers. I found this handy site while looking into them: http://tomuse.com/penny-auction-fraud-scam-cheat-bidders/

Better Health/Get Slim Package - The company also goes by "Enjoy Your Body Today." This company advertises a free trial for weight loss pills, then locks people into an "agreement."  Customers complain that the company charges $99 plus $9 per month before they have a chance to try the product.  Despite coming to the Better Business Bureau's attention less than 20 days ago, they already have an F rating and 12 complaints. Click HERE for their business review

Copy Toner Scam - We received a call from a business who was called by an anonymous person asking for the serial number on the business's copier. If the caller gets the serial number, they will attempt to sell toner for the copier at marked up prices.  Sometimes these callers take credit card information and run. Sometimes, they send cheap toner and say that the company is now locked into a binding agreement.  If someone calls asking for your Copier serial number, just hang up.

Platinum Online Group - To start with, they have an F rating with the BBB for unanswered complaints and 66 complaints within the last year. They infiltrate people's bank accounts and deduct money for payday loans.  The problem arises when the customers never had payday loans with Platinum and had never heard of them.  Our efforts to even locate the company have come up empty.  We've run into several of these types of companies and many are located outside the United States in the Federation of Nevis/St. Kitts.

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