301.519.9237 exdirector@nesaus.org

6.11.23- WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH)

The address of a legitimate Kansas business has been repeatedly used to front a series of scam operations, an investigation from the Better Business Bureau (BBB) recently uncovered.

An investigation was opened into StyleWomenShoe.com, ZimmermannOutlet.com, DiscountValentines.shop, CatsLitters.com and Caravan Power & Electrical after customer complaints were received that involved hundreds of dollars in losses. Each of the sites claimed 3039 Anderson Avenue in Manhattan as its business address, though none of the sites are associated with companies that are currently registered, according to the Kansas Secretary of State.

The address is the location of 1419 Mercantile, a business in Manhattan that specializes in home décor, which has occupied the space for 10 years.

The owner of 1419 Mercantile told BBB that the business has never sold any products through online services. The business owner said she had compiled a page-long list of fake companies using her address to front their operations.

A BBB Scam Tracker report for Caravan Power & Electric included the following: “Offered unbelievable discounts on all expensive, reputable product lines. There are a few misspelled words. There was no phone number. They are using someone else’s business address.”

BBB offers the following tips to detect imposter sites:

  • Look closely at the domain name. One way fake websites trick people is by using a domain name that is extremely close to a real business’ or organization’s domain name. Upon closer examination, you might notice that two letters are swapped or it’s just slightly misspelled. If you find a spelling error in the domain name, you’re not on the official site and it’s best to close the tab.
  • Watch out for tricky subdomains. Sometimes attackers hope you will confuse a subdomain with the real domain name of their website. For example, a scammer might use the domain name netflix.com.movies.com hoping you won’t notice the real domain name is actually movies.com
  • Be careful with links in emails. Phishing scams are extremely common. A scammer might send you an email that looks like it comes from a reputable business in hopes that you’ll click on the links without a second thought. Always hover over links in unsolicited emails and even in emails that come from a brand, business, or person you think you know. If the link doesn’t match the blue text or if it’s a short link and you can’t tell where it leads, don’t click it. If you do, you may end up on a lookalike website where your personal information could be compromised.