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Common Scams Reported To Ohio BBB, Pt 2

Earlier this week, this blog began looking into some of the most common scams Ohio consumers can face according to the Ohio Better Business Bureau. Often, falling for a scam during a tough economy and at a time when a consumer is in financial distress can lead to the necessity to file for chapter 7 bankruptcy relief or chapter 13 bankruptcy protection.

During times of high unemployment, many scammers use the internet in an effort to extract information and money from underemployed or unemployed workers. The BBB says that identity theft scams are common. Companies use credit card offers and "phishing" schemes to attempt to extract credit card information from consumers.

Similarly, the internet has many offers to supply job opening information to the unemployed. Some of the scams include work-from-home scams seeking a fee to provide information about the so-called job opportunity.

In 2010, debt relief and debt consolidation scams increased 30 percent. While laws restrict companies from offering services based upon advance fees, many unscrupulous debt relief and consolidation companies reportedly seek to skirt the law. The companies take the fees, without providing the offered relief.

The BBB receives many complaints regarding lottery scams. Often the scams use familiar names like Reader's Digest and Publisher's Clearing House to lure unsuspecting consumers, according to the BBB. The scam includes an advance check purportedly representing part of the winnings. The scammers then ask for an electronic money transfer to cover fees and taxes. The original check bounces, leaving the consumer with bank fees. Any money wired to the scam is lost.

Any offer that seems too good to be true is probably suspect. The BBB recommends that consumers check with their local BBB before agreeing to any proposal that seems suspect. In this financial climate, a consumer is truly better safe than sorry.

Source: The Columbus Dispatch, "Scammers prey on neediest," Tracy Turner 10 Jan 2011

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