A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

BBB Trends: Unsettled weather? Beware of lurking storm chasers — don’t let emotions get best of you

Storm chasers are people who follow severe weather hoping to get business from victims whose homes have been damaged by storms. They follow weather reports and sometimes will arrive in town before the storm even hits and are ready to pounce as soon as the weather breaks. After the storm hits, they’ll target areas hardest hit by damage because they “just so happen” to notice the homes have storm...

BBB Trends: Before the image leaves pawprints on your heart, check the source

By Sandra Guile Better Business Bureau March 23 is National Puppy Day, and if your family is considering adding a furry friend to the family, there are many things to think about when purchasing a pet – like how to get stains out of the carpet or what valuables to tuck out of the way from being chewed up. The most important detail to consider is whether or not your family is ready to take on...

BBB: Returning gifts? Be timely — and check the store’s return policies; return frauders are at work too

Did you receive a sweater for Christmas that’s too small?  Three copies of the same movie on DVD?  Chances are you will be among those who are now trying to return or exchange gifts at retailers this week. Better Business Bureau® serving Central & Eastern Kentucky reminds you that sellers have policies in place to protect their businesses from “return fraud” as well as make customers...

AG says deposit scam leaves victims repaying the bank; Franklin County resident lost $10,000

A new scam warning has been issued by Attorney General Andy Beshear after a mobile deposit scam left a Franklin County resident with a $10,000 bank tab. Andy Beshear Beshear said reports from legitimate local banks and Kentuckians indicate scammers are succeeding in their efforts to put a new twist on the old counterfeit check scam. “Falling victim to a counterfeit mobile deposit scam often results...

Better Business Bureau reminding Kentuckians to use caution in contracting repairs after recent storms

The Better Business Bureau is urging Central and Eastern Kentucky home and business owners who suffered property damage and flooding issues from this weekend’s severe storms to research what companies they hire to help rebuild and repair damage. “Disastrous events like the winds and heavy rains that hit the area can act as a magnet for out-of-town contractors to come offering their services. Some...

LG&E, KU encouraging Kentuckians to learn signs of scams as part of National Consumer Protection Week

Not long ago, scammers used traditional calls and mail to our homes to make contact with unsuspecting consumers in an effort to carry out their crimes, but as technology has advanced, scammers have too. From dialing our smartphones, to texting, emailing and employing social media, scammers have just as many tools at their disposal as we have ways to communicate. That’s why it’s more important than...

Watch for scammers using fake charities to profit from hurricane relief efforts, Beshear says

Attorney General Andy Beshear issued a scam alert to warn Kentuckians of fake charity scams related to Hurricane Harvey. Due to the lasting devastation of Hurricane Harvey, Beshear is asking Kentuckians to be wary of scammers attempting to profit from relief efforts. “The families and communities impacted by this deadly storm deserve our help,” said Beshear. “I am asking generous Kentuckians...

Attorney General’s Offices warns of new scam targeting programs aimed at assisting veterans

A scam preying upon Kentuckians’ goodwill toward veterans and veteran causes has been reported, according to Attorney General Andy Beshear. The AG office has received several reports, including one from Kentucky State Police, who said a caller claiming to be with the “Coalition for Veterans of America” is seeking donations to help cover Veterans Affairs medical bills and aid homeless veterans. The...

BBB Trends: Veterans holidays are a time for sound-alike solicitations; beware of scams and pressure

Memorial Day, Fourth of July and Veteran’s Day are all great holidays to honor the men and women who have served or are currently serving our country. It’s also a great opportunity for scam artists to look like, sound like, and act like a charity when they aren’t. There are numerous nonprofits honorably providing the services veterans need and several more that support active military personnel...

BBB Trends: Reputation is everything in business, so be aware of scammers trying to use your good name

By Sandra Guile Special to KyForward Your reputation is everything in business, so when a scammer uses your business name to get people to give them personal information, it can cause major problems. People tend to be wary of a company after a scam, even if the business wasn’t directly involved. To try and minimize the damage, offering advice and support quickly and effectively can restore customers’...

BBB Trends: Is it a scam or a sales pitch? Be skeptical, proactive — and remember Scam Tracker

By Sandra Guile Special to KyForward The constant reporting of scams from all angles – phone, email, online, and in person – can make a person nervous to accept anything at face value. Even if all precautions are taken to protect personal data, it can seem like every solicitation is an attempt to steal important information. While being vigilant is important, an overactive sense of unease...

BBB Trends: Beware of job offers online — some sites just aren’t what they are pretending to be

By Sandra Guile Better Business Bureau Any job offers extended from www.rds-usa.com should not be accepted. BBB learned that the domain for the website is registered in Hong Kong and isn’t the site it’s pretending to be. The fake website has details designed to make it look like it represents a local company – Rapid Delivery Service, a BBB Accredited Business – but it’s actually...

BBB Trends: If caller asks ‘can you hear me,’ it’s probably a scam — so just hang up

By Sandra Guile Special to KyForward The phone rings but the number is unfamiliar. You answer it and the voice on the other end of the line asks “Can you hear me?” You can, so you respond with a simple “yes.” Unfortunately, that answer may cause problems you weren’t expecting BBB’s Scam Tracker has received several reports in the Greater Cincinnati area about calls that...

BBB Trends: Scammers continue to be a problem — here’s a summary of what to watch for in 2017

By Sanda Guile Better Business Bureau As 2016 ends, now is the time to look back and to look forward to the year ahead. BBB has been busy; we handled numerous scam inquiries, advising consumers and businesses alike to monitor and report suspicious activity they encountered. Unfortunately, a new year does not bring a new perspective to scammers; they’ll continue to find creative ways to steal personal...

Beshear issues scam alert for military families as potential schemes target veterans

As Veterans Day approaches, Attorney General Andy Beshear is warning Kentuckians to be cautious of scams targeting veterans. According to the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, there are nearly 330,000 veterans in Kentucky who could be the target of scams. The scams include calls and emails offering bogus military discounts and soliciting personal military information. Scammers are pretending...

Beshear: Fake law enforcement charity scam targeting Kentuckians

Attorney General Andy Beshear warned Kentuckians of a fraudulent phone scam where a caller claims to represent a law enforcement charity. Beshear said his office is receiving reports of a suspicious call, which appears to be coming from a Kentucky phone number, where a caller requests a donation to supposedly help police officers or law enforcement families. Reports suggest the caller is seeking an...

Jeff Rubin: Crimes, scams against the elderly a growing concern for Kentucky

In fiscal year 2015, Kentucky’s Adult Protective Services investigated nearly 46,000 reports of abuse, neglect, and financial exploitation in Kentucky. Yet, despite the fact that a growing number of elderly are increasingly vulnerable to a broad range of exploitation and abuse, knowing just how many and who they are, is often quite difficult to identify. According to a report by the U.S. Department...

BBB Trends: It’s not just people — businesses get scammed too; here are some tips if it happens

By Sandra Guile Better Business Bureau According to the National Institute of Standards and Technology, only 28 percent of small businesses provide training to employees about internet safety and security. Because of that perceived lack of security, staff, customers, and even vendors who have trusted a business with their personal information are at risk. The Federal Trade Commission estimates nine...

Officials warn of several scams, including
one involving bogus invoices sent to schools

State and local officials are warning Kentuckians of a number of scams:   Attorney General Jack Conway, the Kentucky Department of Education and the Better Business Bureau are joining together to warn Kentucky school districts to be vigilant of a scam targeting schools throughout the country.   “Schools are receiving invoices for textbooks they didn’t order,” Conway said. “It’s...

Officials warn of several scams, including one involving bogus invoices sent to schools

State and local officials are warning Kentuckians of a number of scams:   Attorney General Jack Conway, the Kentucky Department of Education and the Better Business Bureau are joining together to warn Kentucky school districts to be vigilant of a scam targeting schools throughout the country.   “Schools are receiving invoices for textbooks they didn’t order,” Conway said. “It’s...