February Scams Roundup

The following are some of the scams reported to Better Business Bureau Northwest during the month of February. In most instances names and locations have been omitted to protect the victims’ privacy.

Top Scams 2015


Employment Scam

A Wasilla resident contacted BBB Northwest Feb. 1 after he was emailed about being a travel coordinator for a travel company. The company sent him an application for the job and advised him to wait for a check. He was then told to cash the check and keep five percent for himself and send the money to a manager overseas. The resident did this twice with checks totaling $1,353 each. Afterward, his bank called him and informed him the checks were fake and that he had to pay $4,700 to the bank. The Alaska resident says he is still receiving checks from the fraudulent company.

Grandparent Scam

A resident out of Wasilla, contacted BBB Northwest Feb. 23 stating her parents had fallen victim to the “Grandparent Scheme.” This occurs when a scammer contacts an elderly consumer convincing them they are their grandchild and is in desperate need of money. In this instance, the Wasilla resident sent $80,000 to someone they thought was their grandchild. They used SWIFT payment and transferred the money to a bank in Mexico.


Ebay Scam

One Oregon resident saw the eBay guarantee and was hooked. Unfortunately, that’s just what the scammer had in mind. BBB Northwest was contacted Feb. 1 when the Oregon resident lost $2,000 as they tried to buy a motorhome off of a Craigslist ad. The victim said the ad had an official looking eBay money back guarantee promise, which misled them.

Personal Information Scam

An unknown individual was at Umpqua Community College promoting a “signature gathering job” that paid $15 an hour. An Oregon resident gave the individual her W2 information and allowed them to take her picture. The scammer promised to follow-up with them for training. Unfortunately that never happened. Now the scammer has the victim’s social security number and photo identification.


USB Scam

A Washington resident is out $2,500 after trying to purchase hundreds of USB sticks. The consumer reported to BBB Northwest Feb. 3 that they ordered them from Madinchinausb.com and received fake sticks that were unusable.

Employment Scam

A Washington resident lost $3,500 when she went to work for a fake company. The complainant states they were hired as a project manager for a transportation company. The company told the victim to purchase four laptops. Afterwards she was told to send them to Ukraine, which tipped her off that the business was a scam.

Spot a business or offer that sounds like an illegal scheme or fraud? Help us investigate and warn others by reporting what you know at BBB Scam Tracker.