BBB warns of scammers posing as their agents


ROANOKE, Va. (WSET) - The Better Business Bureau says there are scammers posing as members of their agency.

According to the BBB, the caller is pretending to call on behalf of other organizations.

Officials say the caller has "name dropped" the IRS, federal government, and well known sweepstakes organizations.

“On one hand it appears even scammers know folks trust the BBB name,” says Julie Wheeler, President and CEO of BBB Serving Western VA. “But we want to stress that BBB does not represent any government agency or sweepstakes lottery, and will never call you and demand payment on behalf of another organization.”

According to officials, the caller says the BBB is involved to make sure the transaction goes smoothly.

They say the caller will use threats or tempting prizes to trick their targets.

In one case, officials say the scammer tried to tempt the victim with a brand new Mercedes.

No matter if the caller claims to represent BBB, the IRS, or any other organization, keep these tips handy to ensure you are not their next victim:

  • Do not answer calls from numbers you do not recognize. If it’s a legitimate contact, they will leave a message. Even if a scammer leaves a message, this will give you time to think about what is being asked of you.
  • Don’t trust your caller ID. Scammers can make any number they like appear on your phone’s caller ID. They often will use local numbers to gain your trust.
  • Never give out any personal information over the phone when you are not sure of the caller.
  • Be wary if you are being asked to act immediately. Scammers typically try to push you into action before you have had time to think. The IRS will give you the chance to question or appeal what you owe.
  • The IRS doesn't call, text or email. The IRS won't call about payment or overdue taxes without first contacting you by mail.
  • Don't wire money or use a prepaid debit card. Scammers often pressure people into wiring money or using a prepaid debit card. It's like sending cash: once it's gone, you can't trace it. The IRS says it will never demand immediate payment, require a specific form of payment, or ask for credit card or debt card numbers over the phone.
  • If you believe you may have fallen for this, contact your bank and credit card companies to flag your accounts. Check your account daily - the earlier you identify unauthorized charges on your accounts, the easier it will be to recover any lost money.
  • Write down the phone number of those callers violating the Do Not Call Registry and file a scam report with BBB Scam Tracker and the FTC's Do Not Call List.

For more information fraud, click here or contact the BBB Serving Western VA at (540) 342-3455 or (800) 533-5501.

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