happens when you have been in business for over 40 years, and you start
receiving calls and complaints about your website? Even more surprising is - you don't have a
website! For Seattle based, BBB
Accredited Business, 101 Auto Body, this became an awful reality.
In May, a Seattle-based consumer ordered a
2004 Fleetwood Fiesta from website http://autorv-shop.com. BBB Northwest + Pacific received a call from
a concerned consumer about the website for 101 Auto Body after realizing that
information on the website didn't match the business' phone number listed on its
BBB profile. The customer called BBB
with their concern, and our investigation team started looking into it.
When BBB receives a complaint or concern about
any business, the team begins researching the situation. In this case, BBB needed to determine if the
website actually belonged to 101 Auto Body of Seattle. While the address of the Seattle location
matched the website, the phone numbers did not, and 101 Auto Body did not have
a California location. At this point, it
became apparent that 101 Auto Body Shop, LLC is not legitimate and was luring consumers
into purchasing products that weren’t as advertised or never arrived. The imposter sells used and seized vehicles,
while 101 Auto body is a car body repair shop.
The imposter scam can take many different
forms. This one involved identity theft of the business. Also, this is an online purchasing scam as
well. What the fraudulent company
didn't expect, was the educated consumer who checked at bbb.org first. When the website didn't match the profile on
BBB, the user realized it was a scam and reported it on BBB Scam Tracker.
The Seattle business was notified of the issue
and noted they had received five to six calls a day about the situation. They needed help to get the information to
their customers. BBB put an alert on the
business's profile warning of the bogus website, which reduced the number of
calls the company received each day.
How can you avoid being scammed?
advertiser. Some of the best deals are only available online, however, be
careful. It's easy for a fake site to mimic a famous retailer's website, so
make sure you are shopping with a legitimate site. If the site is missing
contact information, that is a red flag. Check out retailers at bbb.org before
site's security settings. If the site is secure, its URL (web address) should
start with "https://" and include
a lock icon on the purchase or shopping cart page.
Be a savvy
shopper. When shopping online, be sure to take your time, and read the fine
print before submitting your order. Look for the return policy; do they offer a
full refund or a stocking fee policy?
data is required and how that information can be used. If a website doesn't