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BBB TIPS, A COLUMN BY BBB OF NORTHERN INDIANA

Shopper wary when asked to use prepaid card

Thursday, June 21, 2012 - 1:52 pm

This is a consumer advice column written by the Better Business Bureau of Northern Indiana. It appears Thursdays in Business.

Have you ever heard of ClearanceOverstock.com? Neither have we. According to their website, they have an A+ rating and are a member with the Better Business Bureau. Also, they have a shipping address in Michigan City but do not provide a physical location. The secretary of state and BBB do not have a listing for such a company. The goods on their site are quite tempting, and the prices are marked down substantially.

One consumer reported a swing set, originally priced at $3500, was marked way down to $800. According to the letter received from the company, “Everything we sell is brand new, under manufacturer's warranty, unless otherwise specified.”

What raised a red flag for this consumer is the business requested payment by Green Dot MoneyPak, which is a prepaid card. This raises a red flag for us as well, as money transfers and prepaid cards are a method of payment that overseas scammers request more often than not.

After further checking on this business, it was determined that the website's contact information was masked. The address information provided belonged to the company that provided the domain name. After calling them, they gave information to a host company, which is not the actual company that is providing the “clearanceoverstock.com” service.

Messages have been left with the host company, as far as revealing the identity of said company. The only way to contact the host company is through email or live chat. No response has been given by the host company, which could reveal the whereabouts of this company or person, as the case may be.

For now, it is strongly recommended to use caution in dealing with them, as they may or may not be a legitimate company. If you have any more information about them, please call us!

Before you make a purchase, go to the Better Business Bureau of Northern Indiana website at www.neindiana.bbb.org
or call 423-4433 or toll-free 1-800-552-4631 to check out a business.