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Better Business Bureau: Don't fall for fake funeral email notice

By BY TRACY BRACY
March 10, 2014 at 3:04 p.m.
Updated March 9, 2014 at 10:10 p.m.


The Better Business Bureau is warning consumers about a scam email disguised as a funeral notification.

The email's subject line reads "funeral notification" and appears to be from in Texas, with a coordinating logo. It invites the reader to an upcoming "celebration of your friend's life service."

The email instructs you to click a link to view the invitation and "more detailed information about the farewell ceremony."

But instead of pointing to the funeral home's website, it sends you to a foreign domain. Scammers place malware on these third-party websites that download to your computer, giving scammers access to information on your machine.

Your Better Business Bureau advises consumers to avoid suspicious emails with links or attachments. Always keep software updated and hover over links to check their source before clicking. Scam emails try to get you to act before you think by creating a sense of urgency. Don't fall for it.

Giddy-up Swings 'n Things takes customers for a ride

The Better Business Bureau has found that this Buda-based company has a pattern of disputes alleging delivery issues. Giddy-up Swings 'n Things, a company that sells old tires refashioned into items such as swings and bird-themed planters, has left black marks on some consumers' wallets.

The company sells products from websites such as shop.recycledcreations.com, shop.giddyupswings.com and ponyswings.com.

Consumers allege that when they place orders with Giddy-up Swings 'n Things, they are charged right away and receive order confirmations, but their merchandise never arrives or turns up well past the delivery due date. Consumers also complain the company does not respond to emails and phone calls.

As of Feb. 18, the Better Business Bureau had received 13 complaints about the company. It had failed to respond to eight complaints. Consumers whose complaints were resolved informed the Better Business Bureau that they finally received their order but well past the expected delivery date.

Sandra Hardell, of San Antonio, said she ordered four planters, which were not shipped after a long delay, although her credit card was charged immediately.

"I ordered four planters. They only shipped two," Hardell said. "I contacted them multiple times, maybe 20 or 30 by phone and email. I was able to speak to the owner one time, who told me my order was boxed and about to be shipped. About a month after that, two planters showed up. The other two never showed up. I finally gave up, and the credit card company reversed the charges."

The Better Business Bureau offers the following advice for online shopping:

Pay with a credit card. Under federal law, charges made on a credit card can be disputed up to 60 days after the purchase.

Keep documentation of your order. After completing the online order process, there should be a final confirmation page or an email confirmation. Print and save any receipts for future reference.

Do your research. Check the company's Better Business Bureau Business Review at bbb.org.

Tracy Bracy is the regional director of the Better Business Bureau for Corpus Christi/Victoria. Contact her by email at tbracy@corpuschristi.bbb.org.

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