• BBB's top 5 schemes in Western Pennsylvania


    PITTSBURGH - Marsha Shishman spent $3,000 for an electrician for a project on her home.

    “He sounded so good. ‘Oh, I know the codes. I know all the regulations. I work only by codes," she said.

    She was not happy with the work done, but she didn’t get her agreement in writing.

    “Always research home improvement contractors, any contractor that you are considering hiring, before you provide any kind of financial payment or information to them,” said Caitlin Driscoll of the Better Business Bureau. 

    General contractors finished among the Better Business Bureau’s top five most complained about type of businesses in Western Pennsylvania in 2013.

    Smishing, or scam texts, is another of the area's biggest schemes.

    “First I thought it was identity theft or scam,” said one woman.

    She did not want to show her identity but she did show Channel 11 the text she received.

    It looks like it’s from a bank but the crooks are just after your banking information.

    In this case, the text claimed to be from a credit union and there was a problem with her debit card.

    However, the woman not only did not belong to the credit union but she also did not have a debit card.

    The BBB also got a lot of complaints about the "medical alert scheme."

    A caller says a relative has already paid for the device; all they need is bank account or credit information to verify their identity.

    Instead, victims are charged with a $35 service fee and the product never arrived.

    Our 4th scheme deals with the Do Not Call list.

    Scammers call asking you to sign up by giving some personal information.

    Don't do it!

    These services are free and you don't need to share your personal infornation to register.

    Rounding out the top 5 complaints is the Affordable Care Act Scheme.

    Callers pose as government workers and say you need a new insurance card—but first they need a credit card or social security number.

    Like with any scheme, sharing your personal information puts you at risk for identity fraud.


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