GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The Better Business Bureau is hoping to help you keep hold of your money, warning of the trickiest scams out there.
The five riskiest types of scams, according to a new report from the BBB, involve employment, cryptocurrency, online purchases, fake check and money orders, and advanced fees or loans.
“It was a unique experience and something that I just wouldn’t wish on anyone else,” Darryl Larson, who was targeted by scammers, said.
He got a call he thought was from Publishers Clearing House.
“I was the winner of $2.5 million, plus a Mercedes-Benz car,” he said.
The scammers sent him some official-looking paperwork, layered with logos from all sorts of agencies and companies in an effort to sound more legitimate. Many of the phone numbers on it were fake.
“At that point, I called the Better Business Bureau and also tried to contact the real Publishers Clearing House who said they never do their rewards through phone,” Larson said.
The BBB says no legitimate prize giveaway is going to ask you to give them money before releasing your winnings. In Larson’s case, they were looking for close to $5,000.
“And then there’s another ask and another ask and another ask and eventually they’re so far into it, they can’t afford for it not to be real,” BBB Educational Foundation Director Troy Baker said.
The BBB says these scams are out there because they work.
“If everybody knows that this is a scam and nobody falls for it, they go away because there’s no profit to it,” Baker said. “So education is really the key.”
Larson’s advice for anyone else is simple:
“If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.”