Better Business Bureau Issues Scam Warning - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

8/4/04

Better Business Bureau Issues Scam Warning

As part of a new scam, scam artists (posing as Better Business Bureau representatives) call business owners wanting bank account numbers and personal information. They leave only a phony name and number. Nan Campbell with the South Plains Better Business Bureau says, "The Better Business Bureau has become aware of telemarketing companies calling local businesses and claiming they're with the Better Business Bureau or they are the BBB and even leaving a call back number of 1-800-CALL-BBB."

Bureau of Consumer Protection
Our mandate is to protect consumers against unfair, deceptive, or fraudulent practices.

Those imposters get on the phone and tell businesses a complaint has been filed against them or they need information to update their files. "The BBB normally handles things like complaints and updating information via e-mail or snail mail," Campbell says.

The imposters also ask for the same information from consumers, offering loans, but only if a fee is paid in advance. Campbell says if a business or consumer has any questions about a suspicious phone call, they should hang up, look up the local BBB in the phone book, and call them directly.

Campbell also has another warning for those looking to get rich quick. "We basically have noticed a real increase in the number of inquiry calls on multi-level companies. One company in particular has generated quite a number of calls to our office." That business is Cyberwize. Cyberwize claims it can help turn all your financial dreams into reality. They sell mainly travel services and nutritional products and are looking for representatives. "We do know they are very active here in the South Plains. They have meetings several nights a week and they are recruiting people," says Campbell.

Better Business Bureau
Since the founding of the first BBB in 1912, the BBB system has proven that the majority of marketplace problems can be solved fairly through the use of voluntary self-regulation and consumer education.

Campbell wants those reps to realize they are unlikely to get rich quick with Cyberwize. The company was recently subject to an investigation by the Florida Attorney General's Office after a large number of complaints concerning unsatisfactory business performance and credit or billing disputes. Campbell says, "The company has voluntarily signed an assurance, an action if you will, with the attorney general's office to do some major changes."

With no admission of guilt, one of the changes Cyberwize agreed to make is refraining from discussing profit possibilities without disclosing that not everyone makes a profit. They also must not misrepresent income levels, earnings or profits a person may reasonably expect to earn.

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