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BBB warning: Advertising scam targets businesses

A company claiming to be based out of Vancouver, Washington is costing businesses to lose thousands of dollars with a too-good-to be-true advertising scam. According to Better Business Bureau Serving the Northwest reports, a company using the name Core Brand Solutions is targeting businesses across the U.S including Oregon, Washington, Wisconsin and even all the way to Florida.  

Recently, a tourist related company in Anchorage, Alaska lost $1,500 when offered advertising services from Core Brand Solutions. The Anchorage business was contacted by them to advertise on hotel key card jackets. To verify the deal was legitimate, the tourism company called the hotel to confirm. Core Brand Solutions promised the hotel free key card sleeves in return for working with them.  

Unfortunately, the jackets and cards were never delivered, and the company had stopped communication with the Anchorage business and went out of business. Other businesses had similar experiences with Core Brand Solutions.  

Core Brand Solutions is based out of BBB Northwest’s region in Vancouver, Washington. The business has an N/R rating because the record reflects the company is no longer in business.  

Although their profile shows they are out of business, that isn’t stopping them from trying to con other companies. According to complaints, Core Brand Solutions is part of a web of companies which include: Velocity Marketing Partners, Tourist Trapper Marketing LLC, Guided Guest and more.  

BBB suggests looking for these red flags when offered a business deal: 

  • Too good to be true price: Don’t fall for a deal just because it has a good price or it includes a freebie. Before making a deal, make sure to research the company on bbb.org/northwest to make sure it’s reliable and trustworthy.   
  • The sense of urgency: Businesses shouldn’t feel rushed to hand over their credit card information. Some companies reported that Core Brand Solutions told them they had limited advertising space left and needed payment details to reserve a spot. 
  • Poor communication: Communication could be great in the beginning, but once the deal moves further, communication could decrease. Multiple businesses reported a lack of communication or no response at all, especially after asking for a refund from Core Brand Solutions.  
  • Email mistakes: The Anchorage company reported other business names listed at the bottom of the emails including guidedguest.com. This inconsistency could be a sign that the scam is making its way around under another company name.  

To report a complaint about an experience with this organization, visit the Federal Trade Commission or file a complaint with BBB 

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ABOUT BBB: For more than 100 years, Better Business Bureau has been helping people find businesses, brands and charities they can trust. In 2016, people turned to BBB more than 167 million times for BBB Business Profiles on more than 5.2 million businesses and Charity Reports on 11,000 charities, all available for free at bbb.org. There are local, independent BBBs across the United States, Canada and Mexico, including BBB serving the Northwest which serves more than 14 million consumers in Alaska, Washington, Idaho, Oregon, Montana and Western Wyoming.  


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