The Better Business Bureau Serving Acadiana is alerting of a new scam that targets small business owners. According to a report, the scam involves fake companies offering cheap services that do not deliver. Be wary if a deal sounds too good to be true. Con artists are tricking business owners into signing phony contracts.
The usually starts with a cold call, email, or social media post that presents as a cheap way for small businesses to reach more customers. The fake company will claim to provide public relations services, boost search engine visibility, or any other type of marketing support. In short, the company will make big promises that will never be fulfilled. The victim will usually then sign a contract with the fake company, and once payment is submitted, the company disappears.
The BBB reported that one victim was unable to cancel and was automatically re-bill for service that they did not receive or want..
Protect your business by thoroughly researching companies before paying for services. Check to see if they have a professional website and legitimate social media accounts. Look for customer reviews and watch out for any complaints. Triple-check the company’s contact information. Sometimes fake companies will have phone numbers that do not work and fake physical addresses.
Reach out to any listed references and be sure to speak with an actual person. Get a clear understanding of the services that are being offered. If anything does not make sense, it could be a scam.
Use a trusted payment method. A scam artist will usually try to pressure you into spending in a hurry. Never send money to a person or company using wire transfers, cryptocurrency, or pre-paid debit cards. Always pay with your credit card.
“Look for the Seal” and Start with Trust®. BBB Serving Acadiana works for a trustworthy marketplace by maintaining standards for truthful advertising, investigating, and exposing fraud against consumers and businesses.
Please contact Better Business Bureau at bbb.org or (337) 981-3497 24 hours a day for information on businesses throughout North America.
BBB Serving Acadiana services the parishes of Acadia, Evangeline, Iberia, Lafayette, St. Martin, St. Landry, and Vermilion.