Scams and Alerts

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May 28, 2019

The Southport-Oak Island Area Chamber of Commerce will post alerts or cautions from fellow members and law enforcement to help you avoid being a victim of fraud or scam.

As a general rule we encourage the members to ask questions of anyone who is asking you to advertise in their publication, calendar, map the list goes on. Ask for a list of distribution locations. If they reference distribution at the Chamber of Commerce, call us and we will verify immediately if they are a member and if this publication will be distributed. If they reference a sponsoring organization, check with that organization and ask them questions. Go online and research the company prior to advertising with any company.   Don't be pressured into an immediate decision. No company should have issues with you asking for a packet of information which will give you time to research.
 This Government website is a great resource for the latest consumer frauds and scams. There is also some great information from the Federal Trade Commission on their blog


TRAFFIC INFORMATION:

Highway 211 Widening Project:

On June 22, 2016, The North Carolina Department of Transportation provided us the following information on the widending project of Highway 211 from Highway 87 to Midway Road. This project will also include new overpasses at Long Beach Road and Midway Road.  Click Here for the Presentation.

SCAMS & ALERTS:


DocuSign Computer Virus:
It has recently been brought to our attention that a computer virus is making the rounds disguising itself as a DocuSign Document. Many of our members use this service regularly, so it is important to pay close attention to what you are opening.
First and foremost, if you do not recognize the sender of a DocuSign envelope and you are uncertain of the authenticity of an email, look for the unique security code at the bottom of the notification email. All DocuSign envelopes include a unique security code. If you do not see this code DO NOT click on links or open attachments within the email.   Click Here to see what the security code looks like. 

 

Spotting the signs of a B2B Scam
The Federal Trade Commission works with a united front of state, federal, and international fraud fighters to curtail Business to Business scams. What can you do to help protect your company and your community?  Read more here.

"You’re Wanted in Court! Jury Duty and Summons Scams By Elizabeth Holtan

Jury duty may be tedious, and not many of us are likely to look forward to appearing in court, but there’s certainly a chance we could be called. So if we receive email or mail that appears to be official court correspondence, we’re likely to pay attention.  Scammers are counting on that.  False “court summons” emails are popping up in Mississippi, according to the Clarion-Ledger. We reported on fake notices to appear in court back in September, but they’re making the rounds again. The messages claim that you’ve been called to appear in court, even though you aren’t involved in any litigation. “The spammer’s goal in sending these e-mails is for the victim to click the ‘can be found here’ link so that they can collect sensitive information from the victim, remotely install malware on the victim’s computer, or both,” said Mississippi Supreme Court Director of Information Technology Daryl L. Wingo.  If you’d like to call and check out a suspicious claim, you can independently search for the phone number of the organization or person named in the email. Jury duty scams are hitting citizens across the Midwest. Emails or calls claim you’ve missed jury duty, and if you want to avoid arrest, you need to pay a fine, reports Lancaster, Ohio’s Eagle-Gazette. Warnings have also been issued in Minnesota and North Dakota. If you protest that you didn’t receive any notification of jury duty, scammers ask for private information such as your date of birth, Social Security number, or even credit card number to “verify,” according to the U.S. government. Only 29 percent of Americans have served as jurors, so for many of us, the process is still a bit of a mystery. While jury duty is an important and required civic duty, courts will never ask jurors for money, and most communications are by mail or in person.  What should you do if you receive a suspicious jury duty call, text, or email? Contact your local FBI, BBB, and court offices.
 

Power Company

Businesses and residents are receiving phone calls from someone who has identified themselves as representing the "power company".  They indicated the person or company is late on their bill and they would be terminating electric service if they didn't pay with a credit card.  If asked they will actually provided you a working toll free number.  THIS IS A SCAM.   DO NOT GIVE THEM YOUR CREDIT CARD INFORMATION.  IF YOU HAVE QUESTIONS ABOUT YOUR POWER SERVICE ONLY CALL USING THE PHONE NUMBERS LISTED ON YOUR POWER BILL.

Premier Map Company

Premier Map Company does not represent the Southport-Oak Island Area Chamber of Commerce.  You were not referred to them by the Chamber nor will the Southport-Oak Island Area Chamber of Commerce be distributing the Premier produced map.  If you are contacted by a map company about purchasing advertisement on a map, please check with the Chamber prior to giving the company any credit card information.

Labor Law Posters 

Do you comply with the law by posting the workplace notices in your office? Visit www.nclabor.com/posters/posters.htm to determine which posters you may need to post.  Should you receive solicitations from companies attempting to sell you posters by threatening huge penalties from the Labor Department, please throw them in the trash can or notify the NCDOL.  When changes are made, you can request that the NCDOL send you another FREE set.   If you have any questions about the new posters or the poster law, call NCDOL at 800-625-2267. 

 

Brunswick County Mobile SmartGuide

Brunswick County Mobile SmartGuide does not represent the Southport-Oak Island Area Chamber of Commerce nor the Brunswick County Tourism Development Authority.   Emma Thomas at The Adventure Kayak Company was contacted by Bob Brown, Brunswick County Mobile SmartGuide. She contacted the Chamber and requested clarification if this was the Chamber's mobile application.  It is NOT.  Do not be confused. Our mobile application is for the Southport-Oak Island area. The graphic is the Chamber's logo. Sales calls for the Chamber's mobile app are done by Chamber Staff. If you would like to advertise in the Chamber's Mobile App & Website call or email Charlie Blalock, Membership & Ad Sales Agent for details at [email protected].

Brunswick County Relocation Guide

Fellow Chamber member Lauren Fitch, Find. Fun-cycled in Southport. She has had an issue with the Brunswick County Relocation Guide published by Skyline Publishing out of Peoria, Illinois. Not to be confused with the Original Relocation Guide out of Wilmington or the Chamber's Guide. Skyline Publishing is not a member of the Southport-Oak Island Area Chamber of Commerce.The Chamber only distributes publications by members of the Chamber. Lauren has filed a complaint with the Better Business Bureau.
 

Large Order Scam

Your business is contacted with a very large order for pickup. They have a third party ready to pick up the order but need to add the third party's delivery (shipping) charge to their order.  They then ask you to pay the third party for them using your company credit card.  Once you do that they give you their credit card information which is declined or later found to be a fraudulent or stolen card but by that time they have your credit card information. The method of contact varies - Fax, Phone or Email.  They usually target food establishments but we know they have also tried the scam with retailers. 

Secret Shopper Scam

According to the Better Business Bureau, Sights on Service, Inc. has been an accredited business since 2009 with a B rating. However, the following alert is connected to their BBB listing:   The Better Business Bureau of Minnesota and North Dakota, as well as Sights on Service is aware the company's name has been used in association with fraudulent secret shopping checks. Sights on Service are a marketing research company based in Minnesota and has been in business since 1990.  If a consumer has been sent a check using the company name and offering secret shopping opportunities, you are encouraged to contact the Federal Trade Commission at 877.382-4357. Sights on Service DOES NOT send out checks prior to a person being hired to work for the company. The fraudulent company is extremely persistent, using several different contact methods and asks for private information.  They claim to offer $250 per business visit.  While this may sound like a great deal, please be aware that someone is using the Secret Shopper identity to scam you out of your money.   Do not give out your person or financial information to anyone.  Stay vigilant and if you are contacted by Secret Shopper contact the Federal Trade Commission to see if it is the legitimate Secret Shopper Company or the fraudulent one.


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