It says you can score a front-loading washing machine for $352 that will ” wash and sanitize queen-size bedspreads.”
In both cases, too good to be true?
Yes, says the Better Business Bureau, which has sent out a warning about doing business with BestDealzPrice.com, a site that sells everything from voice recorders to baby strollers. It was created in April, and has prompted in the last month 1,000 inquiries and 12 complaints from people who did not receive what they had purchased, says the BBB that covers New Mexico and Southwest Colorado.
The business claims to be headquartered in Durango, Colo., but the Better Business Bureau says it “has been unable to verify a physical location for the company. It appears they may be operating outside of the United States.” The phone number listed on the site is disconnected.
The BBB office is encouraging people who did not receive their orders from BestDealzPrice.com to dispute charges with their credit-card company or with PayPal and to file a complaint by email at email@example.com or bbbsw.org; or call 346-0110 or toll-free at 800-873-2224.
Here’s some more advice: “… use caution when shopping online,” says Brian Baca, president of the regional BBB. “Just because a website looks legitimate and offers a return/refund policy to its consumers doesn’t mean it’s operating on the up and up.”
An Albuquerque woman phoned last week to say she had gotten two calls from someone named “Martin” at a “727” area code, telling her she had committed a federal offense and to call him immediately .
She called me instead. Soon after, so did someone else reporting a similar call, this time from an “Anthony Cooper” claiming to be with the Treasury Department regarding a federal action that needed immediate attention.
And they aren’t the only ones.
The state Attorney General’s Office says New Mexicans are getting hit with such calls, generally from the phone numbers 915-317-4924 (Texas) and 727-302-1145 (Florida). The person on the other end threatens arrest, mandatory court appearance and jail time. The callers are claiming to be from the federal government and tell people they owe money.
They are generally using the names Steve London and Steve Martin and are reported to have heavy accents, the AG’s Office said.
If you receive a call like this, contact the New Mexico Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division at 1-800-678-1508.
Here are some other tips regarding questionable phone calls:
- Ask for the caller’s name and affiliation and offer to call back. Look up the phone number for the entity the caller claims to represent. The real agency will be able to tell you whether the call is legitimate.
- Never transfer money to a stranger through wire transfers or preloaded money cards.
- Don’t give a caller any personal information.
- If a caller threatens you, contact police.
- If you are unsure about a call’s legitimacy, contact the Better Business Bureau or the Attorney General’s Office.
Editor’s Note: Today, assistant business editor Ellen Marks takes over the Journal’s “Scam of the Week” column. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or 505-823-3842 if you are aware of what sounds like a scam. To report a scam to law enforcement, contact the New Mexico Consumer Protection Division toll-free at 1-800-678-1508.