Taking Action: Beware of scams from seemingly reputable sources

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) - Minuteman Press owner Jonathan Dunwoody always knew to be on the lookout for scam emails.

"It was easy to recognize because I knew it was a scam from the beginning, so I felt like I was pretty good at catching these things," he said.

Then late on a Friday afternoon last fall, his busiest time of year, he got an alarming phone call at his Huntsville business. On the other end was a man claiming to be with a collections company for Huntsville Utilities saying Dunwoody still owed roughly $800 for his last bill.

"We had just switched over to automatic withdrawal from our credit card, so I figured something went wrong there," he said.

If he didn't pay up, Dunwoody said he was told the power to his business would be shut off in two days.

"I got about halfway to the bank, panicking the whole time and thought this might not be right and I called BBB," he said.

Dunwoody's instincts were right. It was a scam.

He said what tipped him off was that he had to go through Western Union to pay, not a Huntsville Utilities location.

He adds that whenever you're in doubt, always check with the Better Business Bureau.

"I was just glad that I had them on the top of my mind and made that first phone call to them," he said.

Don’t forget you can hop online any time to check out a business, non-profit or reputable charity at Northalabama.bbb.org. Or, call the WHNT News 19/BBB Consumer Action Line at (256) 850-0719. It’s open Monday through Friday during normal business hours.