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BBB(Better Business Bureau) Warns Of Michael Jackson Scams

The amount of Michael Jackson memorabilia for sale on eBay increased nearly 10,000 percent the morning after the pop star’s death from a possible heart attack. And with that surge, the Better Business Bureau of Greater Maryland is cautioning buyers about purchasing fake merchandise. The increase in memorabilia makes buyers more susceptible to price inflation, counterfeits and internet scams that can threaten sensitive information, officials said.

“Following the death of Princess Diana, the market was flooded with mass-produced items commemorating her death, including special edition Beanie Babies that at one time sold for more than $100 but are now on garage sale tables for a buck,” said Angie Barnett, CEO of the Better Business Bureau.Sellers listed an average of 200 to 400 Michael Jackson memorabilia items daily on eBay, but the number spiked to 20,000 after his death, according to Smartmoney.com, a web site that covers Wall Street.

Michael Jackson sold 750 million albums during his four-decade music career, according to the recording industry publication Billboard Magazine. Jackson’s “Thriller” album is one of the top-selling albums of all time, with 40 million copies sold around the world.

Michael Jackson memorabilia is selling for anywhere from $21 million — for the michaeljackson.com Internet domain name — to $1.79 for a Michael Jackson collectable vinyl window sticker.

The Better Business Bureau has not received any official complaints about fake merchandise, but they have seen e-mail scams that use Michael Jackson’s death as a ploy to get harvest people’s sensitive personal information. Barnett said the scam e-mails might say “download a secret Michael Jackson video” — but when a person actually clicks on the e-mail, they are really downloading a so-called trojan horse program that can access passwords and other sensitive information off a computer and send it to a remote location.

The Better Business Bureau advises people to do research before buying any Michael Jackson memorabilia, confirm its authenticity with a third party, make the purchase with a credit card and look for sites that are approved by the Better Business Bureau to ensure legitimacy.



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