BBB warns of phony Firestone rebate scam
A new scam has been identified in which consumers are advised by phone that they are eligible for a refund under the Firestone tire recall program. Consumers are told they are qualified for refunds from $200 to $286.
The reported calls have been received by consumers in eight states to date (Indiana, Louisiana, California, Connecticut, New York, Alabama, New Hampshire and Georgia) and have used a variety of ruses to obtain personal information on consumers. None of the consumers contacted owned recalled tires or had requested a refund, but all were asked for personal information such as confirmation of their address, Social Security numbers, birth date, and bank account numbers and in one instance, the address where her husband worked.
We do not contact customers by phone to tell them they qualified for a refund, assures Larry Perdue, manager of Bridgestone Firestone Customer Retention Services. He went on to say, If they submitted a refund request or reconsideration request under the Agreed Final Judgment with 50 states attorney generals, they are notified in writing.
Advances in computer technology have made it possible for detailed information about people to be compiled and shared more easily than ever, enabling Americans to enjoy better access to credit and financial services, shopping choices and educational resources, said James E. Baumhart, BBB president/CEO. But as personal information becomes more accessible, the potential for its misuse increases.
One of the most devastating abuses of personal information is identity theft, which occurs when someone steals personal identifying informationsuch as a Social Security number, birth date or mothers maiden nameis to open new charge accounts, order merchandise or borrow money.
If consumers are contacted under these circumstances or have questions about their rebates, they should contact Bridgestone Firestone Consumer Affairs at 1-800-367-3872, said Larry Perdue of Bridgestone Firestone.
Detailed information on identity theft scams can be obtained by logging onto www.rockford.bbb.org and selecting the Identity Theft blue button on the right side of the page.