Safety training too good to be true

BBB warns consumers about fake certifications

The Better Business Bureau of Southwest Louisiana is warning consumers about a Baytown, Texas, company it said has been offering fake industry safety certifications.

About 200 consumers locally have been affected, according to the BBB.

Although the company, iThink Safety & Technical Academy, said it offered training for certification from the National Center for Construction Education & Research (NCCER) and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), both agencies told the BBB they had never heard of the academy.

In the last week, several consumers called the BBB to report they had each paid $1,400, took a class for more than four weeks, and were supposed to be given paperwork with certifications for NCCER and OSHA.

Consumers reported that after they completed the course they were harassed via text messages from the academy stating the only way they would get paperwork was if they paid remaining balances in full. They also reported their certifications were held as well as some of their resumes.

Ashley Durel, director of operations at the BBB, said she began investigating the company after she got calls from consumers who reported initially hearing about the business through its Facebook posts.

“After locating the Facebook page, we noticed that the company, iThink, not only promised certifications from the safety agencies, they also promised job placement at the end of the course,” Durel said.

She said the company told consumers their resumes and information would be given directly to the top hiring managers at local industries.

“It’s upsetting because here we are in the heart of thriving industry and someone is trying to take advantage of our residents,” Durel said.

Contacted by the BBB, representatives of NCCER and OSHA told Durel they had no affiliation with iThink and had never heard of the company.

NCCER is a non-profit education foundation in business since 1996. It was created to help standardize training and credentials in the industry. OSHA is a part of the United States Department of Labor and was created to ensure safe working conditions.

Durel said she contacted about 20 different types of safety companies and none of them had heard of iThink.

She said consumers who are interested in finding out whether a company is legitimately offering safety certifications can contact the Safety Council of SWLA, which provides safety education and training in this area. She said people can also contact NCCER for information on training courses by calling 386-518-6500.

Durel said the BBB has been in contact with the Attorney General’s Office and the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office regarding iThink.

“Consumers should always be leery if something sounds too good to be true because things may not always be what they appear to be,” Durel said.


 

For more information, call the BBB at 478-6253.

‘It’s upsetting because here we are in the heart of thriving industry and someone is trying to take advantage of our residents.’

Ashley Durel

Director of operations at the Better Business Bureau

””Phone Scam AlertAmerican Press composite

Local News

Casssidy: Bill would ‘dismantle’ DEI efforts

Local News

Fontenot signs with Cowgirls

life

Free summer concert: LCCB presents’ A Night at the Movies’

Crime

LC pair sent to prison for federal firearms, drug offenses

Crime

6/20: Calcasieu Parish Sheriff announces arrest list

life

PHOTO GALLERY: A magic moment

Crime

Two teenagers charged in robbery in which female was shot

Local News

Some memories don’t fade away: LC’s Dark recalls legendary Mays

life

LC Symphony presents ‘the best songs of the MTV generation’

Local News

Poll: Nearly half of Americans struggling because of higher prices

Crime

BREAKING: CPSO searching for man who escaped custody

Local News

10 Commandments must now be in all La. public classrooms

Local News

Landry signs education savings account bill into law

Local News

UPDATE: SW La. expected to feel some ‘indirect impacts’ from Tropical Storm Alberto

Crime

6/19: Calcasieu Parish Sheriff announces arrest list

life

PHOTO GALLERY: Summer art and theatre camp

Local News

Tropical Storm Alberto forms in southwest Gulf, 1st named storm of the hurricane season

Jim Beam

Jim Beam column:News from a story collection

Local News

BREAKING: Willie Mays, Giants’ electrifying ‘Say Hey Kid,’ has died at 93

life

Snickerdoodle pancakes, anyone? Sowela’s culinary campers learning basic chef fundamentals, presentation skills, teamwork

life

Iowa flooded with complaints over water, sewer rates

Crime

6/18: Calcasieu Parish Sheriff announces arrest list

Local News

Former lawmaker Guinn dies at age 71

Local News

Undersea explorers mark a tragic day. Things to know about the Titan disaster anniversary