BBB lists top scams of 2010 in Illinois

By Associated Press
Posted Jan. 5 at 6:27 a.m.

The Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and Northern Illinois has announced its top scams for 2010, based on frequent calls and complaints.

The most common scams included fraudulent job opportunities, where consumers were asked to pay upfront for materials or training — then heard nothing more.

Consumers complained about mortgage foreclosure rescue scams and timeshare resellers. The Better Business Bureau says it heard about bogus secret shopper programs too.

Also on the list are “free” trials that weren’t free and spam e-mails, text messages and automated recordings that try to get people to disclose their financial information.

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One comment:

  1. BBB Not For ME Jan. 15 at 6:25 pm

    Consumers BEWARE of BBB Better Business Bureau
    Businesses BEWARE of BBB Better Business Bureau

    I have opened many businesses. I have thousands of extremely satisfied consumers buying my products/services month after month year after year. I have only been contacted by BBB on two occasions.

    In both of my company’s first contact, BBB solicited thousands of dollars of money for memberships. Both times coincidentally, I received a second call almost simultaneously stating that there was a consumer (baseless) complaint filed against me. Both times I and the complainants themselves proved the complainants were not really consumers. Both times I refused to give BBB money. Both times the BBB posted the erroneous alleged consumer complaint and posted a negative rating against my good businesses related to individuals who were NOT actually even paying consumers of mine confirmed by the complainants themselves.

    The first non-consumer complaint was actually a job applicant NOT a consumer. The complainant himself even admitted to BBB he was an independent contractor or (disgruntled job applicant) who solicited a job from me that did not work out. No money was paid to my business for services or product from this contractor. He was NOT my consumer. (As evidence I even submitted a copy of a voice mail the contractor left for me which caught him in a lie.) Ultimately, I did not buy a BBB membership. Coincidentally, BBB responded by posting the fictitious alleged complaint and a negative score.

    The second fictitious alleged complaint was from someone who is NOT a paying consumer. They actually happened to be responsible for bringing a disturbance that threatened to damage my business and police dispatch. The complainant themselves admitted to BBB they signed a contract to purchase services and products from my business and admitted they did NOT pay me. They admitted they had my property and did not return it. They admitted to BBB their payment bounced. They still have my property and they still have not paid me and I have not pursued them. They cost my business hundreds of dollars. They used BBB as a vehicle hoping to induce me to relinquish all my rights to pursue them in the court of law. Ultimately, I did not buy a BBB membership. Coincidentally, BBB responded by posting the fictitious alleged complaint and a negative score.

    Would you want to base buying decisions on reports of NON-CONSUMERS who are disgruntled because they did not get employment? Or NON-CONSUMERS are just using the BBB as a vehicle to get something free or a competitor trying do some damage? Or worse, would you want consumer recommendations of only those companies who line the pockets of BBB?

    Consumers trust in BBB to guide them to find the company with the best business practices. Are consumers getting valuable advice or is there a violation of “Dual Agency”? BBB purports to be agents of consumers protecting them from bad business practices but BBB takes money from the businesses! Can it be another name for payoff’s? Does BBB soliciting thousands of dollars from businesses who worry about BBB retaliation resemble extortion? BBB is a private for profit business. I tried to file a complaint against BBB. They won’t let me.

    Correct me if I am wrong, but if they have 1,000,000 companies registered (could be more) and are charging $1000 per year for each. (some companies pay much more than $1000) That is $1 Billion dollars per year that the BBB is collecting in fees. How much profit is the BBB really making?