The Tennessee Department of Commerce reminds consumers that scammers continue trying to trick consumers and businesses into providing information that leads to identity theft, drains bank accounts, and ruins credit reports.
In fact, several Better Business Bureau’s recently reported scammers are once again weaving BBB’s trusted name into their ploys because they know the public sees BBB as a trusted entity.
According to BBB, one woman said she received a call from “Chris Gabriel” who identified himself as a representative of the Better Business Bureau. To sound official, the caller gave her an ID number and said the call was about her Citibank card. She indicated the caller knew everything about her card, and because she trusts BBB, she gave him information.
Soon after, she realized she had made a mistake. She immediately hung up, canceled her card, and called BBB.
The scammers didn’t stop there. BBB then received a call from a business who shared a similar experience, but in this instance the caller claimed to be calling from BBB stating it was about the company’s credit card processing machine. The scammer requested bank account routing details and the owner’s Social Security number, claiming it was to update payment and contact information.
The unsuspecting business representative provided the requested information believing he really was talking to BBB. Afterward, he realized BBB would not request this type of information, and is now taking necessary action to report identity theft.
BBB urges consumers and businesses to never give out personally identifiable information until you have confirmed who the requesting party is and why the information is necessary. The BBB would never ask for credit card machine processing information.
The only time BBB would accept credit card information is upon receipt of an application for BBB accreditation status or other related accreditation services. Even then, BBB welcomes and encourages all businesses to verify with whom they are speaking by calling BBB’s main phone number at 615-242-4222 or visiting BBB’s website BBB.org/Nashville.