Author: Jason Meza

Torch Awards 2019 Kick Off

On Monday, June 24th, Better Business Bureau (BBB) marked the beginning of the 2019 BBB Torch Awards for Marketplace Ethics nomination period! The award promotes the importance of ethical business practices and highlights the willingness and efforts made by local businesses who demonstrate a dedication to marketplace trust. Entries will be accepted until Friday, September 6, 2019. Of the many qualified entries submitted from across BBB serving the Heart of Texas’ 105-county region, six winners were chosen: three in the Fort Worth area (Olympic Restoration Systems, Firefighting’s Finest Moving & Storage and Apex Capital Corp), one in Austin (Dochen...

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Scammers Posing as Local Priests in Charity Scam

Reports from around Texas, including San Antonio, have revealed a charity scam on the rise. Scammers are posing as local priests and pastors in order to text and call local consumers asking for gift cards or wire transfers, allegedly for charitable purposes. It is always important to be aware if someone approaches you asking for a donation, even if they claim to be a trustworthy figure such as your local priest or pastor, to do your research before giving. Charity scams were one of the top ten riskiest scams that affected businesses in 2018, according to BBB’s Small Business...

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Timeshare Broker Scam

Buying a vacation home can be out of reach for many people. But what about buying a “piece” of a vacation home? That’s the idea behind timeshares – you pay a fraction of the cost for a property and have access to it for a set amount of time each year. As the industry has grown, it has expanded to include opportunities to trade your timeshare for time in another property – meaning you can pick a different location for your vacation every year. And at the same time, the business of selling timeshares has also boomed. There are...

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Counterfeit Goods Investigation

Research tells us that eight in ten Americans shop online- perhaps you’ve made an online purchase (or several) this month. However, nearly anything available online can be counterfeited. An in-depth investigative study by Better Business Bureau (BBB) finds that one in four people have bought something that turned out to be fake. It is sometimes very difficult to tell apart the legitimate products from counterfeits. This stems from a large network of organized criminals and credit card processing mechanisms that are willing to support them. Our report titled “Fakes Are Not Fashionable” digs into the scope of the problem,...

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Watch for Rental Scams BBB Consumer Advisory

Finding a new place to live can be a time-consuming process. Scammers know this and cash in on eager renters who rush into agreements without doing the necessary research. The proliferation of online real estate and vacation rental sites make it easy for scammers to steal photos and descriptions of real places, and free online bulletin boards like Craigslist attract bargain hunters. How the Scam Works: Rental scams lure you with online ads touting beautiful homes, low rents, and great amenities. For local rentals, the scammer may claim to be out of town and unable to show the property. In some cases, bold scammers have even gained illegal access to homes belonging to others and have “shown” the property as if they own it! Scammers create a false sense of urgency, telling the prospective renter that others are interested so immediate action is required. The renter puts down a security deposit, only to find out that the property is not available… or does not exist. In a recent ScamTracker report, a South Texas resident lost $1,000 to an imitation Airbnb rental linked from Craigslist. The scammer claimed to be a Military member overseas and requested a security deposit through MoneyGram. Once the money was received, communication stopped, and the rental turned out to be fake. Tips to Avoid This Scam: Watch out for deals that are too good. Scammers...

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