By Veronica Craker, Managing Editor
The following are some of the scams reported to Better Business Bureau serving the Northwest in September. In most instances names and locations have been omitted to protect the victims’ privacy.
Home visit scam
A Girdwood woman reported she received a call from someone named Justin Fisher, claiming to represent CUNA Mutual. The company is where her local Credit Union offered a free $4,000 life insurance policy. The caller stated he would be in the woman’s neighborhood and asked what hours she worked so he could visit. Fortunately, the woman didn’t reveal any of her information, but was shocked to hear he had her name, date of birth, mailing address and next of kin.
Tax collection scam
An Anchorage woman reports she nearly lost $9,741 when she received a call from someone claiming to be with the U.S. Treasury. The woman reports she was told she was being charged with tax faud and that all her assets had been seized. She was also told that an arrest warrant was being issued for her, but they could pass her along to the restitution department. The woman hung up and contacted her attorney and accountant who informed her it was a fake call.
Grandson emergency scam
A Meridian woman reported they lost $6,000 in the family emergency scam. She states she received a call from someone claiming to be her grandson who told her he was in jail in Hawaii. She was transferred to a “Capt. John Rockford” who told her to purchase $4,000 worth of i-Tunes gift cards from Best Buy and read the numbers back to him. Then she was asked to send an additional $2,000. After relaying the numbers to the caller the woman never heard from her grandson. She finally spoke to him on Sept. 17 and was informed she had been tricked.
Facebook government grant scam
A Boise man said he was contacted via Facebook by someone claiming to be his sister. He was told she had won a government grant for $60,000. She asked him if he wanted the contact to text for the application and he said “sure.” He asked his “sister” if she received the money and she told him yes. After exchanging a few messages with the government contact he called his sister and she told him she didn’t know what he was talking about. He unfriended the person claiming to be his sister on Facebook and reported the incident to BBB.
A Hermiston man reported he was contacted by Mega Global Winners informing him he won $5.5 million. The man states he was told to wire $300 to a man in Twin Falls, Idaho. Fortunately, the man ignored the request.
Tax collection scam
A Scappoose woman reports someone called their husbands cellphone claiming he owed money to the IRS. She was told he needed to call 971-317-4003 to take care of the matter. Fortunately, they ignored the call and reported it to BBB Scam Tracker.
Debt collection scam
An Olympia woman reported she was contacted by someone pressuring her to pay a debt collection fee for a cell phone account she never had. The woman claims the caller had her previous married name and social security number. They told her she was named in a class action lawsuit from a cell phone company for an unpaid account. The woman states she never had an account with the company and the debt did not show up on a recent credit report.
Yellow Pages scam
A Monroe man reports he received a fake bill for $1,183. The invoice was for a listing in the Business Yellow Pages USA. The man reported to Scam Tracker that he did not place the order.