BBB Warns Big County Against Frigid Weather Scams

(Abilene, Texas – Local Better Business Bureau CEO John Riggins warns Big Country residents and businesses that scam artists are likely to be active and possibly defrauding victims with new schemes. “Particularly when people find themselves in desperate situations, scam artists have absolutely no compassion on victims,” says Riggins. “Rather, they see such times as creating opportunity to prey upon the unfortunate targets.” One common scam features people impersonating utility workers from water, electric or gas companies. They may claim that a bill has not been paid and then threaten residents or business owners with deactivation of services of they don’t pay up immediately. These imposters will reach out to victims with a phone call or knock on your door. The BBB advises residents and business owners not to allow alleged utility workers unless they drive up in a company vehicle and show you their employee ID card with a photo on it. Riggins continues, “It may feel uncomfortable to turn them down, but your safety and well-being is at risk. Tell them to sit in their vehicle and you will call the customer service number to confirm whether this is a legitimate call.”

He adds that there three potential red flags: 1. Demands for immediate payment 2. Demands for payment by debit cards or wire transfers 3. Pushing aggressively to get into your home – they will say it is too cold and that they are here to help you

To report a scam, go to BBB Scam Tracker. To learn how to protect yourself, go to “10 Steps to Avoid Scams.” About the Better Business Bureau: The organization’s purpose is not to act as an advocate for businesses or consumers, but to act as a mutually trusted intermediary to promote trustworthy business practices, resolve disputes and provide information to assist consumers in making wise buying decisions. The BBB office in Abilene is located at 3300 S. 14th Street and has served the Big Country for XX years.

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