Monday, July 25, 2011

Home Exercise Equipment Listing Alert

The Better Business Bureau (BBB) is alerting consumers to watch out for too-good-to-be-true offers from online listings advertising home exercise equipment at a 50% discount in some cases. They say that after paying for their exercise equipment with Green Dot MoneyPak gift cards, the merchandise they ordered was not delivered and the scammers dropped out of contact.

These scammers are allegedly moving from ad to ad, website to website, making the same fraudulent offer. The most recent bogus site -- offering discounted home exercise equipment -- reported to the BBB was

To avoid falling for this scam, the BBB advises consumers to:

• Be wary of websites or Craigslist advertisements linking to websites where home exercise equipment is offered at steep discounts.

• Be suspicious of websites that ask customers to wire money or pay with a MoneyPak gift card. Consumers should never give their MoneyPak number to someone they don't know.

• Beware of websites requesting MoneyPak as a form of payment even if they display the MoneyPak or Green Dot logo. Consumers should check for a list of approved MoneyPak partners.

• Treat your MoneyPak card like cash. Transactions cannot be reversed.

• Make sure you are dealing with a trustworthy business by visiting

Consumers who have been scammed by fraudulent offers like this should contact their local law enforcement and file a claim, as well as file complaints with the FTC ( and at

Also contact your Better Business Bureau at

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Madigan Alerts Consumers to Dangers of Fuel Gel in Firepots

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan is urging consumers to immediately stop using fuel gels in firepots due to their serious potential for causing severe burns.

Recent media reports have brought to light severe and even life-threatening burns and injuries suffered by people using the scented fuel gels, which are poured into firepots for use as outdoor candles. Reports show consumers were injured when they added more fuel into the pot in an attempt to light or re-light the firepot, causing the product to explode into a fireball. One manufacturer, Napa Home & Garden Inc., already has pulled its products from Bed Bath & Beyond stores nationwide as it reviews product labeling for safety, and the federal Consumer Product Safety Commission has opened an investigation into fire gels.

“Fuel gels can be extremely dangerous, and yet most people are unaware of the burn risks they pose,” Attorney General Madigan said.

Attorney General Madigan urged Illinoisans to stop using fuel gels while the CPSC investigates. Madigan also called on business owners to pull all fuel gels from shelves and for consumers to report firepots or fuel gels they see on store shelves to her office.

Any consumer who suffers an injury after using fire gel should immediately report it to the CPSC by calling its hotline at (800) 638-2772 or (800) 638-8270 for the hearing impaired.

Consumers seeking more information can contact Madigan’s Product Recall Hotline at (888) 414-7678, TTY (800) 964-3012 and (866) 310-8398 for Spanish speakers.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Scam Alert: Possible Identity Theft Scam Source Identified

The Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and Northern IL, Inc. has been notified by a reputable source that the website may be the source of a scam offering.

This organization, which is reportedly based in Washington, D.C., is said to be offering funds, possible falsely,  in exchange for personal information, including Social Security Numbers. Take notice that the giving away of Social Security Numbers is often involved identity theft scams and the public in general should be advised against taking that action.

Authorities have been alerted regarding this matter.  For further information regarding Consumer Safety, please visit the Chicago BBB at

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