FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Scam artists use local BBB CEO Name to Perpitrate a Scam
The Better Business Bureau is warning businesses to beware of a scam hitting the Midwest. Consumers from Illinois and Missouri have called the BBB who have been promised large amounts of money, but must first pay $300.00. In the process, the consumer is supposed to receive a call from Bonnie Bakin, President/CEO of the Better Business Bureau of Central Illinois to verify that the call they received about the promised money is true.
BBB President/CEO does NOT contact consumers verify calls they have received.
Better Business Bureau reminds consumers that the organization does not run a lottery nor award prizes to consumers. Anyone who receives a call, letter or e-mail about winning the lottery should consult the following checklist in order to avoid falling victim to a lottery scam:
Make sure the story checks out. Always confirm the facts directly with the organization the representative claims to be from—whether it’s Better Business Bureau or any other organization. Use contact information that you found on your own from the organization’s Web site; don’t rely on phone numbers or Web links provided by the representative. Scammers often pretend to be from legitimate businesses or non-profits and a quick call directly to the organization can help set the record straight.
Never pay money to get money. Lottery scammers make their money by convincing victims that they have to pay money up front—to cover such costs as taxes or fees—in order to receive their winnings. Because it is extremely difficult for the victim to track or retrieve money sent via wire transfer, scammers will often use this as their payment method of choice.
Don’t fall for the phony check. Scammers will often send a check in the mail to the victim with the instructions that—in order to receive the full prize—he or she must deposit the check and wire back a portion of the funds to cover fees or taxes. This gives the victim a false sense of security because the check will clear initially, but eventually be discovered as a fake. The money is then taken out of the victim’s account and he or she is out the funds sent to the scammer.
If you have been contacted by someone posing as a Better Business Bureau employee, contact your local BBB and report the incident.