The Better Business Bureau of Southern Colorado has issued an alert to warn Colorado businesses that the telemarketers posing as employees of the State of Colorado Better Business Bureau are “working” our area. The callers attempt to solicit information that is not normally required in order to conduct business with or be a member of the BBB.
The callers are generally phoning Colorado businesses and asking them to verify the company’s name, address, phone number and other information. The callers ask for names of various managers, such as the head of finance or information technology, and the number of workstations at that business location. The caller also states that he/she has important financial documents to send to the business.
Businesses have reported that the callers became rude and used threatening language when questioned about the BBB’s need for such information. The callers leave (800) CALL-BBB (225-5222) as their contact phone number. That phone number, which is not owned by the BBB, is busy or rings into an investment company. Some businesses report that the caller gave the name “Dave Sebastian.” Other names that have been used are Claude, Ashley, Brian and Frank. One caller spoke with a foreign accent.
Colomex Inc., a franchisee of Taco Bell Corp., was contacted by a telemarketer posing as a representative of the State of Colorado Better Business Bureau. Kimberly Bingman, human resources/payroll manager for Colomex, said the person sounded as though he was phoning from a call center.
“I told him that I would be happy to give him the information he was requesting as long as I could verify that he was actually with the Better Business Bureau,” Bingman said, “and I asked for his phone number. He insisted that I give him my extension number, but I told him again I needed to verify his title and telephone number. He then hung up.”
When Bingman called the number the man gave her to see if it indeed rang into the Better Business Bureau, it actually rang through to Van Kampen Investments. The Better Business Bureau of Southern Colorado contacted the company, whose representative said they don’t employ anyone by that name.
“Businesses need to be aware that any representatives of the BBB will clearly identify themselves and leave a local, working telephone number,” said Carol Odell, CEO of the BBB of Southern Colorado. “If you receive a call from anyone representing the BBB and are unsure as to who they are, do not give out any information and call our office immediately.”
Double check with the Better Business Bureau of Southern Colorado whenever dubious phone calls are received or if the BBB name is tied to a questionable promotion. Contact the Bureau at (719) 636-1155, (866) 206-1800.