Website launches to warn consumers of scam artists - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Website launches to warn consumers of scam artists

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HORRY COUNTY, SC A(WMBF) The Better Business Bureau and Western Union launched a website called, "BBB Scam Stopper," in an effort to raise awareness to consumers about common scams con artists use to commit consumer fraud.

"These scammers are smart. But they're gonna pry, they're gonna play on your emotions. They're gonna put a sense of urgency in it. And anytime with those factors, you just really need to think twice. Call the BBB, go to BBB.org. Check it out. look and see. Are other people reporting this going on? The best thing you can do is stop and think before you react," CEO of the Better Business Bureau in Conway, South Carolina Kathy Graham said.

Graham said the most common problem in Horry County is fake lottery tickets. Graham said the BBB receives an average of 12 calls per day from people believing they may have received a fake ticket in the mail.

"We get about a dozen calls a day on people who think they won the lottery. Those lottery checks that come in the mail. They look really real. It preys on people's emotions you know. People are down and out and they see this check and they think hey this look really real. It's not real," Graham said.

Graham said con artists often use social media to find a person's personal information, and then use emotion to prey on consumers.

"The scammer calls in the middle of the night and says, your nephew was arrested last night on his school trip and you need to wire us the money right now. He doesn't want you to tell his parents. So they put the fear in people and people jump out of bed and wire the money, without even verifying that that in fact happened. We have had local consumers that were victims," Graham said.

On the Scam Stopper website, consumers can find facts and tips to stay informed and help reduce their chances of becoming a victim of a scam. The site also explains the science of scams, and how scammers use many of the same "sales tactics" that are used by legitimate businesses. Visitors can also sign up to receive BBB Scam Alerts, weekly emails with the latest scams reported to BBBs across the country.

Graham said the most common people who are preyed on by con artists are senior citizens and low income families.

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