Calling Baton Rouge: Scammers targeting local businesses

    Phone scammers—masquerading as an office supply company, Entergy or the Better Business Bureau—are calling Baton Rouge area businesses in the hope of tricking owners to pay undue money.

    The first half of the year saw the BBB of South Central Louisiana receive more than 406 complaints about phone scams, of which 306 were processed says Carmen Million, the organization’s head. Million says that investigations have been opened into 41 companies. 

    “Someone you know has been a victim to a scammer,” Million said at this afternoon’s Press Club luncheon. “Anyone can be a victim. People who stand back and say they’re too smart, it’s going to happen to them.” 

    The most common scammers target Baton Rouge businesses by impersonating the BBB, claiming a need to update the company’s information on file. Others call businesses under the guise of their office supplier having a large sale. 

    Another scam Million warned businesses to watch out for is scammers impersonating Entergy or a local utility company representatives, calling during peak business hours demanding immediate payment of a supposedly unpaid balance or lose service.

    “Fear is a great motivating factor for falling for these scams,” Million says, adding most of the scammers call from Jamaica or India and manipulate caller ID to make the calls look local. “People make bad decisions when pushed into a corner.” 

    Check out the scams reported in Baton Rouge with the BBB Scam Tracker

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