Businesses are being blackmailed - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Businesses are being blackmailed

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ALBANY, GA (WALB) -

Many businesses like hotels depend on online reviews. Now con artists are threatening to blast the Internet with negative reviews if a business doesn't pony up 1500 dollars.

"It's not happen here, but we have the luxury of corporate calling us, they tell us what's going on, the trickle down effect, and I have not had any experience with this particular scam," said BJ Fletcher.

But downtown Albany's Hilton Garden INN has had experience with other scams.

"We have them call, try to reach us through the computer we just do not respond," said Fletcher.

BJ Fletcher hopes other business owners ignore scammers as well.

"They are out to make money, they want to prey on people, especially seniors, I'm just saying if you are a small business, senior do not give your information out to anyone," said Fletcher.

Dougherty County Police also don't want you to be intimidated by a con artist.  

"If you are not sure someone is calling you from a reputable place always call that place," said Captain Tom Jackson.

Officers say con artists behind the blackmail scam could some serious consequences.

"You have someone who is trying to extort someone out of some money, that's illegal in and of itself, anytime you take someone's money, there is always the possibility of being charged with fraud," said Jackson.

To report a scam visit www.ftc.gov

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