i-Scam

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Acadiana consumers beware, there's a cell phone scam circulating and it includes accessories that go with them.

According to the United States Attorney's office, a Lafayette resident and business owner recently pleaded guilty to trafficking counterfeit apple products. Homeland Security, who led the investigation, found that the owner of Iphonelafayette.com off of Kaliste Saloom Road was in possession of counterfeit, name brand products including hundreds of Apple, Otter Box, Louis Vuitton, and Coach iPhone cases.

The owner of that business does face up to ten years in prison and a two million dollar fine. The president and CEO of the Better Business Bureau of Acadiana, Sharane Gott says these types of scams are happening more often. Gott says often times people need to go with their gut. That when they walk into a store and get a bad vibe that's typically a good sign to walk right back out. Gott goes on to say that if it sounds too good to be true, it more than likely is and you're going to pay the price.

The Better Business Bureau also warns if you're buying a cellphone from an individual, make sure the phone has not been reported lost or stolen. You can do this by asking for the phone's unique identification or serial number and checking it at free online services. By doing this, you'll also learn if the phone is blocked due to an unpaid bill. Refurbished phones sold by the carrier or reseller, however, should already have been vetted to ensure they're clear.

Before making the purchase, check the phone from all angles for potential damage, make sure the screen is unbroken and works, check all physical buttons and look for discoloration near the charging port and battery, which could indicate water damage.

If you'd like more information about a business, you can check out the Better Business Bureau of Acadiana website at BBB.org.

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