The Better Business Bureau is warning consumers about some of the top scams to watch out for in 2022.
Heather Sommers loves her puppy, Cannoli. The problem is that she only got him after losing $900 on another dog that didn’t exist.
“I was shaking when it was happening. It’s heartbreaking,” Sommers says.
Sommers picked out a puppy from a website run by a so-called dog breeder. She realized that something was wrong when the breeder kept demanding more money, supposedly for a special air-conditioned crate. When Sommers called police, she learned that both the breeder and the dog were fake.
“We did what I thought were all the right things. We asked for proof of puppy. We were sent additional photos,” Sommers says.
Melissa Companick, of the Better Business Bureau, says that the puppy scam is one of the most common ones her agency sees on its scam tracker.
“You’re just going to be out the money. There is no puppy,” Companick says.
She advises consumers to buy pets in person, check the breeder’s references with the Better Business Bureau or Department of Consumer Affairs, and be aware of deals that seem too good to be true.
“When you’ve researched the type of animal that you want, and it should be one price and you find a really discounted price, that’s kind of red flag No. 1,” Companick says.
If your New Year’s resolution is to find a better job, you need to be aware of another one of the BBB’s top scams – employment fraud.
“I’ve got to say – hook, line and sinker. I was there,” says Steven Gogerty.
Gogerty got fooled by one of the most common job scams. He was hired online as a mystery shopper. His so-called employer sent him cash, which he then used to buy stacks of gift cards. He texted the gift cards to the so-called employer. But the time he realized the checks were forged, his account was overdrawn by thousands of dollars.
“I feel like I’ve been hoodwinked. Just conned,” Gogerty says.
The BBB says with so many job interviews being done online only, job scams are skyrocketing. They say those looking for a job should research potential employers, call the main number and ask for the person they will be dealing with. Don’t give out personal information until they know the company is legitimate. Potential employees should also steer clear of anyone offering lot of money for simple work.
“That’s completely illegal. You don’t want to get involved in that. There is no paying job actually doing that. And if you could earn an exorbitant amount of money for doing simply that, there would be a lot of jobs doing that,” Companick says.
And for anyone doing online shopping, make sure you get what you pay for. The BBB says counterfeit products are also one of the top scams right now.
“Credit cards offering you the most protection if there is a problem with your purchase, and the best way for you to try to get your money back,” Companick says.