CONSUMER ALERT: Mail Order Scams Preying on Latino Consumers
May 16, 2013
Over the past two years, the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) has seen a steady increase in calls from Latino consumers complaining of unscrupulous practices by mail order companies. Hispanics statewide have been specifically targeted in scams that began as phone, online or mail-based purchases of goods, but that turned into aggressive and threatening demands for additional money or purchases.
CONSUMER ALERT: Parking Invoice Scam Hits East and West Wisconsin Residents
May 1, 2013
Wisconsin residents on opposite sides of the state have reported receiving fraudulent bills in the mail for supposed parking violations. The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) is asking consumers statewide to be on the lookout for fake invoices or threats of collections for phony parking fees.
CONSUMER ALERT: Utilities Scam Targeting Hispanic Consumers Statewide
April 30, 2013
Consumers across the state of Wisconsin are receiving fraudulent phone calls from imposters who claim to work for the local electric company. These phony customer service representatives appear to be targeting Latino consumers in an attempt to collect payment for what they claim are “past due statements.” They instruct their victims to wire money or load money onto a prepaid debit card immediately to avoid having their power shut off.
CONSUMER ALERT: Fox Valley Seniors Targeted in Possible Medical Equipment Scam
April 19, 2013
Over the past couple of weeks, the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection’s (DATCP) Consumer Information Hotline has received a dozen or more calls from seniors in the Fox Valley region about a possible medical equipment scam. Calls to the Consumer Information Hotline about this situation have come from seniors in Appleton, Green Bay and just north of Green Bay.
CONSUMER ALERT: Fake Check Scam Now Targeting Babysitters
March 28, 2013
You reply to an online posting for a babysitting job. The client is moving to Wisconsin from out of state in a couple of weeks, so you are finalizing the details of the babysitting arrangement by email and text message. Your pay will be $400 per week. The client sends you an initial check for $1,800 and asks you to cash the check, keep the first week’s payment, and wire the remainder back.
Seems simple enough…but it’s a scam.
CONSUMER ALERT: See Questionable Tax Practices? Let DATCP Know!
February 25, 2013
It is still early in the tax season, but Wisconsin consumers are already complaining loudly about potential tax fraud. The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) is seeing an increase in the number of consumer calls about fraudulent filings, and Wisconsin residents working with a tax preparation service are reminded to reach out to DATCP if they believe that there are questionable practices taking place at the business.
CONSUMER ALERT: It's Game Time for Playoff Ticket Scams
January 9, 2013
With the NFL playoffs underway and the Super Bowl just around the corner, the already-high demand for postseason tickets is rising. A new round of scams is targeting Packers fans looking to buy, sell or show off their playoff tickets. The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) asks ticket holders to protect their passes from scammers.
CONSUMER ALERT: Medicare Card Scam Pops Up in Wisconsin
January 4, 2013
If you receive a phone call claiming that you need a replacement Medicare card, hang up! It is a scam.
The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) recently received a complaint on behalf of a senior who received a phone call from a group calling itself “Preferred Benefits to Seniors.” By the end of the call, this consumer had turned over her bank account number to the caller, but was able to close her bank account before any money was stolen.
CONSUMER ALERT: Questionable Robocalls Targeting Wisconsin Seniors
December 19, 2012
Callers representing themselves as “Senior Emergency Care,” “Senior Safety Alert” and “Senior Safe Alert” have recently pounded Wisconsin homes with prerecorded telephone calls pitching personal emergency alert systems. The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) asks Wisconsin residents to hang up on these harassing calls.
CONSUMER ALERT: Timeshare Resale Scams Surface in Wisconsin
December 7, 2012
Wisconsin consumers looking to sell their timeshares may find an unsolicited offer of help from a resale company to be tempting...but they may want to reconsider. The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) is asking sellers to do their research when choosing a timeshare resale company and to be skeptical of unsolicited resale offers – particularly when they involve upfront fees.
CONSUMER ALERT: Watch Out for Escrow Scams on Online Ads
November 9, 2012
Online ad services such as Craigslist are great places to score a deal on used goods, but they have also proven to be a hotbed for scams. Recent postings to Craigslist pages throughout the Midwest have falsely advertised boats for sale in Wisconsin, and buyers have lost big bucks after putting them in escrow accounts at the sellers’ request. The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection asks consumers to be aware of escrow scams when responding to online advertisements.
CONSUMER ALERT: Review Online Coupons Carefully
November 5, 2012
Consumers who sign up for emails from daily deal websites are offered products, services, meals and travel at heavily discounted rates. The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) advises consumers to do their research on the service provider prior to clicking the purchase button.
CONSUMER ALERT: Watch for Donation Scams in Hurricane Sandy’s Wake
October 31, 2012
As the eastern United States begins its slow recovery, the Wisconsin Bureau of Consumer Protection cautions residents to watch out for scams and to research organizations to ensure that they are legitimate charities donating to the hurricane recovery.
CONSUMER ALERT: "Ransomware” Scam Tying Up Personal Computers
September 12, 2012
If your computer locks up and a screen appears telling you that you owe a fine for accessing illegal material on the internet, you are the victim of Reveton “ransomware.”
CONSUMER ALERT: “Rachel” Up to No Good Again – This Time in Email Gift Card Scam
August 6, 2012
“Rachel” (the scammer) has had a busy year, first showing up in “credit card services” automated phone calls and now as part of an email phishing scam.
CONSUMER ALERT: Jamaican Scams on the Rise
June 13, 2012
White sand beaches, plentiful sun, reggae music…and international phone scams?
When most people think of Jamaica, they imagine a tropical paradise, not a scammer’s paradise. But time and time again, Jamaican scammers call Wisconsin residents looking for easy money through phony stories about Publishers Clearing House sweepstakes winnings, lottery prizes and free cars.
CONSUMER ALERT: Free Airfare Offer Linked to Sales Presentation for Travel Club
May 24, 2012
“Congratulations! You have been selected to receive 2 Round Trip Airfares to Honolulu, Hawaii…”
It may be difficult to turn down a “deal” like that…but understand that this may be one deal that is too good to be true.