Local Advertising Scam Targets Multiple Businesses
June 29, 2017
A company claiming to be based out of Vancouver, Washington is causing businesses to lose thousands of dollars with a too good to be true advertising scheme. According to Better Business Bureau Serving the Northwest a company using the name Core Brand Solutions is targeting businesses across the U.S including Oregon, Washington, Wisconsin and even all the way to Florida.
Recently, a tourist related company in Anchorage, Alaska lost $1,500 when offered advertising services from Core Brand Solutions. The Anchorage business was contacted to advertise on hotel key card jackets. To verify the deal was legitimate, the tourism company called the hotel to confirm. Core Brand Solutions promised the hotel free key card sleeves.
The jackets and cards were never delivered, and the company had stopped communication with the Anchorage business and went out of business. Other businesses had similar experiences with Core Brand Solutions.
According to complaints, Core Brand Solutions is part of a web of companies which include: Velocity Marketing Partners, Tourist Trapper Marketing LLC, Guided Guest and more.
BBB suggests looking for these red flags when offered a business deal:
- Too good to be true price: Don’t fall for a deal just because it has a good price or it includes a freebie. Before making a deal, make sure to research the company on bbb.org/northwest to make sure it’s reliable and trustworthy.
- The sense of urgency: Businesses shouldn’t feel rushed to hand over their credit card information. Some companies reported that Core Brand Solutions told them they had limited advertising space left and needed payment details to reserve a spot.
- Poor communication: Communication could be great in the beginning, but once the deal moves further, communication could decrease. Multiple businesses reported a lack of communication or no response at all, especially after asking for a refund from Core Brand Solutions.
- Email mistakes: The Anchorage company reported other business names listed at the bottom of the emails including guidedguest.com. This inconsistency could be a sign that the scam is making its way around under another company name.
ABOUT BBB: For more than 100 years, Better Business Bureau has been helping people find businesses, brands and charities they can trust. BBB Northwest serves more than 14 million consumers in Alaska, Washington, Idaho, Oregon, Montana and Western Wyoming.