July 28, 2015

BBB warns consumers of top-five scams

Published 12:00 am Monday, March 4, 2013

March 3 to 9 is National Consumer Protection Week. The Better Business Bureau has a list of the top five most common scams with tips to prevent consumers from becoming victim of scams or bad businesses.
“Scams often originate online, usually from foreign countries,” said BBB President Tom Bartholomy. “Scammers use the anonymity provided by the Internet to victimize millions of people, efficiently and effectively.
“Online, a scammer can pose as your neighbor, or someone from your bank, or even the BBB,” added Bartholomy. “When the person who contacts you pretends to be someone you think you know, you let your guard down and miss red flags that spell scam.”
The BBB’s top five most scams include:
1. Fake checks/wire transfer scams – The most successful scams in history use fake checks. The BBB receives calls every day from people who have received fake checks that look real. Regardless of the type of scam, the fake check always comes with the same instructions: deposit the check and wire the money to someone in a foreign country. Within a few days, the check will be returned as counterfeit and the money sent via wire transfer will be gone.
BBB tip: The words ‘wire transfer’ should always be a red flag. If you get a check instructing you to deposit it and wire money to someone – for whatever reason – do not do it!
2. Identity theft – Identity theft occurs at home and online, but the fastest growing method is by ‘friendly fraud’ where a person’s credit cards or social security number are used by a friend, roommate or family member, without their permission.
BBB tip: Check the credit reports for each member of your family, especially your children, on a regular basis to make sure that no new credit accounts have been opened in their names. You can get a free credit report each year from www.annualcreditreport.com
3. Phishing scams – Phishing scams, disguised as emails from a variety of authorities including banks, the FBI, the IRS or the BBB, trick millions of people and businesses into clicking on links and downloading attachments that infect their computers with viruses to steal their personal information.
BBB tip: The IRS and your bank are not going to contact you by email. However, many other companies do communicate by email, so look for red flags like awkward phrasing or grammatical mistakes before clicking on links.
4. Home improvement fraud – Homeowners can be victimized by unscrupulous contractors who take deposits for home repair or home improvement jobs, but never return to do the work.
BBB tips: Do business with local contractors who have a long history of performing work in this area. Before you sign a contract, check the company out on http://www.bbb.org/. Read the terms and conditions of the contract carefully. Do not allow work to begin without a signed contract. Do not pay 100 percent of the job up front.
5. Online shopping scams – Online shoppers can be scammed by counterfeit merchandise, unfilled orders, misleading shipping and handling fees, unauthorized credit card charges, unsecure payment processing and fake shipping emails.
BBB tips: Shop on established, well-known websites that encrypt your payment information. Pay with a credit card or PayPal, not by debit card, a pre-paid card or wire transfer. Check online sellers out on BBB before you purchase.
For more information about how to avoid becoming the victim of a scam, please visit http://www.bbb.org/.

Comments

comments

Local

Diehard fans bask in glory of baseball at Newman Park

Columns

Wayne Hinshaw: When football physicals were a team effort

Education

RCCC: If General Assembly increases fall tuition, college will pay difference

Kannapolis

Kannapolis approves bond order for downtown

David Freeze

David Freeze: Lots of time on the water and more new friends

Elections

Garver wants to ease burden on Landis residents, businesses

Crime

blotter: Man charged with groping jogger in downtown Salisbury

Local

Stokes Ferry reopened after bridge repair

Local

Keep Rowan Clean effort to start Wednesday with talk by Keep Iredell Clean leaders

Crime

Police: Man touching himself in public charged with indecent exposure

Crime

Police respond to domestic incident, charge mother with child abuse

Local

Man, woman injured when motorcycle hits car on Peeler Road

News

County seal may not disappear as part of rebranding

Local

The Life of Riley: When Carl Hubbell was king

News

Hinshaw column: Brownie cameras offer a snapshot of history

Local

Yesterday: the freedom document for slaves of Maxwell Chambers

David Freeze

David Freeze: An incredible day of people, places and ‘trail magic’

Local

Town Crier community events July 27-Aug. 2

Health

Ester Marsh column: How to avoid and treat shin splints

Crime

West End area sees lower crime rates

Business

Study: Rowan’s youth fell behind just after recession began in 2008

Health

Community Care Clinic expanding dental services

Entertainment

You’ll have a toe-tapping time at “Ain’t Misbehavin’ ”

Opinion

Answers to news quiz