Better Business Bureau Warning About Core Brand Solutions, Tourist Trapper, & Velocity Marketing Partners
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.
What To Do If You’ve Been Scammed
Step 1: Report It To Your Bank Immediately
Under the Fair Credit Billing Act, you have 120 days to dispute a transaction with your credit card issuer. How the scam works is they drag out their turnaround times past this deadline to file a chargeback. When the consumer realizes it’s a fraud, it will be too late to reverse the payment with the bank. By the time the negative online reviews and BBB complaints start rolling in, the scam’s operators will quietly close shop and reopen under a new name and with a new gimmick.
Here is some information from the Federal Trade Commission on what steps to take when disputing a credit card transaction.
Step 2: Report It To The Authorities
Here are some resources for reporting these scumfucks to local State and Federal authorities:
Federal Bureau of Investigation Internet Crime Complaint Center
Federal Bureau of Investigation – Portland Field Office
9109 NE Cascades Parkway
Portland, OR 97220
Federal Bureau of Investigation – Seattle Field Office
1110 3rd Avenue
Seattle, WA 98101-2904
Oregon Department of Justice, Attorney General
1162 Court Street NE
Salem, OR 97301-4096
For consumer-related matters, call the Attorney General’s Consumer Hotline between the hours of 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
(503) 378-4320 from Salem
(503) 229-5576 from Portland (toll free)
1-877-877-9392 elsewhere in Oregon (toll free)
Washington State Attorney General’s Office
1125 Washington Street SE
PO Box 40100
Olympia, WA 98504-0100
800 5th Ave, Suite 2000
Seattle, WA 98104-3188
call centers are open M-F 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
- 1-800-551-4636 (in-state only)
- 1-206-464-6684 (out-of-state callers)
- 1-800-833-6388 (Washington State Relay Service for the hearing impaired)
Oregon State Police
3565 Trelstad Avenue SE
Salem, OR 97317
Washington State Patrol
General Administration Building
PO Box 42600
Olympia WA 98504-2600
District addresses and telephone numbers (click area on map or office link):
- District 1 Office Directory – Tacoma: (253) 538-3240
- District 2 Office Directory – Bellevue: (425) 401-7788
- District 3 Office Directory – Yakima: (509) 575-2320
- District 4 Office Directory – Spokane: (509) 227-6566
- District 5 Office Directory – Vancouver: (360) 449-7999
- District 6 Office Directory – Wenatchee: (509) 682-8090
- District 7 Office Directory – Marysville: (360) 654-1204
- District 8 Office Directory – Bremerton: (360) 473-0300
Vancouver, Washington Police Department
605 E Evergreen Blvd.
Vancouver, WA 98661