Better Business Bureau: Beware of LinkedIn, Google Wallet scams
By Tracy Bracy
July 21, 2014 at 2:21 a.m.
Are you looking for reliable care for your family pet? Whether choosing a daycare or boarding facility, the Better Business Bureau advises pet owners looking to board their pets to plan accordingly and thoroughly research local kennels.
Visit checkbbb.org to view a list of accredited businesses. Then, be sure to personally visit the facility in person. Check for cleanliness and note the overall safety. Some kennels let animals play together while others keep them separate at all times.
Make sure the facility requires that all entering pets have proof of immunization. Also ask about its policies regarding flea and tick control. Verify the contract includes the feeding and exercise schedule as well as pickup and drop-off hours.
With many job seekers using the social network LinkedIn to market themselves to potential employers, scammers also are finding ways to exploit the site by posing as recruiters.
The bureau advises to be cautious when giving financially sensitive information to someone who could be a fake recruiter. Remember, you will never be asked to pay for a legitimate job. If someone who claims to be a recruiter says you must pay for training, block them.
If a recruiter contacts you via message, request to speak on the phone. If they seem to avoid a phone call, consider that a red flag. If you do get scammed, act fast. Change your passwords immediately, and report the incident to the bureau. If you see any strange banking activity, notify your bank.
For the most part, grandparents have always been portrayed in television and movies as caring, friendly and helpful people. This is also true in real life.
The "grandparent scam" has cost many unsuspecting grandparents and friends many thousands of dollars, and some have had their identity compromised. The grandparent scammer preys on the grandparent's desire to help their grandchildren.
The "grandchild" calls and asks they wire money to help immediately. The bureau advises you to inform elderly loved ones of this scam. If you receive a call like this, ask questions only the grandchild could know the answer to without revealing too much personal information yourself. Never use a transfer service to send money for an emergency if you haven't verified it is real.
Google Wallet scammers
Google Wallet is a handy feature that allows you to store all of your loyalty shopper cards in one virtual place, make purchases online via stored credit and debit cards and even send money securely to friends and family. While using the app, all of your financial information is protected and encrypted, and the Google Wallet Purchase Protection covers 100 percent of eligible unauthorized Google Wallet transactions.
Unfortunately, the app has been exploited recently by scammers hoping to steal money from unsuspecting users by creating fraudulent invoices that look similar to Google Wallet Checkout invoices.
The bureau reminds you that the app currently supports payments made by credit or debit cards only. If a seller suggests you pay via wire or bank transfer with your Checkout account, don't proceed with the transaction; it's likely fraudulent.
Tracy Bracy is the regional director of the Better Business Bureau for Corpus Christi/Victoria. Contact her by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.