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Scammers Target Small Businesses in Increasing Numbers

Scammers are targeting small businesses in increasing numbers, according to the Better Business Bureau.

A local day spa owner says she was trying to get the word out about her business by increasing her advertising, but the person she was talking to took her money and ran.

“It was very upsetting, and you have to be really careful,” says Helen DePasquale, owner of Nature’s Healing Day Spa.

DePasquale has owned her business for more than 10 years and has used YellowPages for advertising purposes.

“I was advertising and I didn’t want to do it anymore, so I said to them well I’ll just pay off my balance,” explains DePasquale.

She then received a call from someone claiming to be from YellowPages asking for a payment to cancel her account. They asked her to send in a prepaid Moneypak card. She knew something just was not right when she got another call asking for more money. So she decided to call the company.

“Nobody form our legal department called you. She told me to get a copy of the bill,” explains DePasquale.

After showing proof of the purchases and transactions DePasquale says the scammers were traced and caught. But that first scam opened her up to more trouble. Unknown charges were still popping up.

“They mirrored my account,” says DePasquale. “There was money that was being taken out but what they did was change the name oh so slightly.”

It took her more than a year to clear things up with her bank.

The BBB says scams like these are very common and easy to fall victim to.

“Slow down, follow things up,” says Jim Temmer, president and CEO of BBB Wisconsin. “If you want to check a business come to BBB.org and check that business out and make sure it’s legitimate.”

It’s something DePasquale says she will never forget.

“Always, always check your account,” suggests DePasquale.

You can check for accredited businesses here

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