Better Business Bureau: Job security check scam

By Alan Bligh
May 25, 2013 at 12:25 a.m.

As I have mentioned before, there is a comprehensive new campaign in Victoria to reduce the incidence of investment fraud among investors. The Investor Protection Campaign was developed by the Financial Regulatory Authority (FINRA) Investor Education Foundation to teach investors the tactics commonly used by fraudsters and the simple steps every investor can take to reduce the risk of being defrauded.

In partnership with the FINRA Investor Education Foundation, Area Agency on Aging and Better Business Bureau will host a free seminar May 13 at the Senior Center at 603 E. Murray. This event is open to the public.

Almost everyone needs to be aware of these frauds - whether it's the millionaire or the retiree with $800 in assets - all are potential victims. To register and to receive more information, call 361-578-1587. Outsmarting Investment Fraud Topics Include:

Who is at Risk for Investment Fraud?

Understanding Persuasion Tactics

Preventing Investment Fraud

See you there.

There are lots of folks hunting for jobs, and the scammers are taking advantage of job seekers by charging applicants for a background check then disappearing. You'll see a job posting online or maybe in the classifieds. It offers great hours and great pay. But there's the catch: The "employer" wants you to pay $89.95 or more for a background check.

Of course, you shouldn't have to pay for it. Recently, the scammers have been asking for a prepaid card for payment. There's no real business. There's no job. Once you send the money, you can't get in touch with them anymore.

You've lost your money. If somebody you really do not know asks you to pay for something by wiring money, using a money order or paying with a prepaid card, that should serve as a big, red flag.

Memorial Day is a time to honor those who serve and remember those who have died in war. But sadly, it has also become a key opportunity for scammers to target those who are serving or have served their nation, especially elderly veterans. As Memorial Day approaches, the Better Business Bureau urges consumers and donors to be aware of scammers that feed off the military.

High-priced military loans: Advertisements for loans that promise a guarantee, instant approval or no credit check will often come with hidden fees and extremely high interest rates. Remember that legitimate lenders will never guarantee a loan before you apply, and loans that require an upfront fee are likely a scam.

Veterans' benefits buyout plans: This buyout plan will offer a cash payment in exchange for a disabled veteran's future benefits or pension payments. The cash amount is only about 30-40 percent of what the veteran is entitled to. These buyout plans can be structured in several different ways, so research thoroughly before signing anything over.

Fake rental properties: Stolen photos of legitimate rental properties are used in advertisements that promise military discounts and other incentives. Service members will have to pay a fee via wire transfer for security payments or a key to the property - in the end, they will receive nothing.

Misleading car sales: Websites posting classified ads will offer false discounts for military personnel or claim to be from soldiers who need to sell their vehicle fast since they have been deployed. Upfront fees will be required via wire transfer, or the vehicle will have problems after purchase.

Expensive life insurance policies: Members of the military are often the targets of high-pressured sales pitches that offer unnecessary, expensive life insurance policies. Solicitors may make false statements regarding the benefits that these policies offer.

Alan Bligh is the executive director of the Better Business Bureau in Corpus Christi. Contact him by email at



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