BBB Alert - Scams Against Consumers Increase As The Economy Worsens
Be Aware of Consumer Scams

My Wedding Reception Ideas takes the security of your financial and personal information very seriously. As a proud member of the BBB, we want to share this important information to all of our visitors and customers.  Please read this important article to protect your self against low-life criminals and scammers now and in the future.

1) Investment Scams

The Better Business Bureau is warning consumers to protect themselves against the following investment scams:
Con artists are calling consumers with fraudulent schemes to prey on their fears or deceive them.

* They may claim to be their bank or stock broker with urgent news."A problem has developed with your mutual fund accounts and the money needs to be transferred immediately to a safer fund. I need to get your approval to go ahead with the transfer. Give me your name, Social Security number and account number for verification...."

* They claim to be government or IRS officials."I'm calling from the Internal Revenue. As you have probably heard, the government has given approval for another $ 1,500 check to be sent to all consumers to help the economy. We have encountered a problem getting your deposit into your bank account. I need to get your account number...." (The pitch is nonsense. No additional government payment to consumers has been approved.)

* They claim to have exotic or secret investments that will recover lost money.

"Our agency has an exclusive license to return overseas American dollars to this country. This is a multi-billion dollar service and our investors are currently seeing returns of 40% per month! I am allowing a small exclusive group of folks to invest $10,000 with us. You should start to get statements with your profit starting in 30 days or less."

These are often Ponzi schemes. Promoters invent phony deals and print up bogus statements to fool investors. If the deal sounds "too good to be true," it probably is.

2) Advance-Fee Loan Scams: Consumers and small businesses looking for a loan or line of credit may see an ad in a newspaper or on the internet: "Loans available now - guaranteed!"

They phone the company and are told that the firm works with international investors. The company salesman says: "Your credit situation is not nearly so bad. We have arranged loans for people with much worse credit histories than you! Please understand that we need an up-front fee of $795, but if the loan falls through we guarantee to return your money."

Advance-fee loans are illegal. These scammers - often from Canada, Nigeria or other foreign countries - will take your money, return to ask for more money, but never deliver a loan or a refund.

3) Foreclosure Rescue:  Consumers with homes in foreclosure are contacted by swindlers who claim they can halt the process and save the home - for a fee. Consumers all over the country are receiving letters, phone calls and even personal visits from these people, who ask $450 to $1,500 in advance.

Most make a few worthless phone calls and then disappear. Some actually try to have the victim sign over their house, claiming they will make payments and the consumer need only pay rent for a year. Actually they refinance the excess equity, pocket the money, then abandon the consumer - who loses the house anyway and owes even MORE money!

4) Work From Home Opportunities:   Ads promising 'Work At Home' or 'Work From Home' are almost always scams, but these con artists often advertise on internet sites like Monster.com and CareerBuilder.com - even Craig's List.

"Overseas Agent needed. Our company is a textile manufacturer in Birmingham, England. Due to money exchange and tax law complications, we are seeking an American Agent who can serve as our representative. The person we select is welcome to work out of their home. Earnings are estimated at $50,000 and above. No prior experience is needed. To apply, send resume to _____"

Hundreds of consumers apply for these jobs. They may be asked for processing fees of $30 to several hundred dollars each. They are told, "You're hired" but have no idea that the "jobs" involve counterfeit checks, stolen credit card numbers, or other scams. They end up sending thousands of their own dollars overseas, then running the risk of being arrested for fraud!

The Better Business Bureau urges consumers to contact their our office at 1-800-743-4222 or visit the Better Business Bureau website BEFORE paying money or giving out personal information to strangers. The helpful staff at the BBB are actively aware of new/current scams as well as tried-and-true scams that have been used for years and can quickly and easily identify these scams based upon the information you provide.