BBB advice: Resolve to be a savvy consumer in 2016

Published 9:01 am Monday, January 4, 2016

Better Business Bureau

Lose weight. Exercise more. Save money. Don’t be a victim. When you make your New Year’s resolutions, the Better Business Bureau wants you to resolve to be a savvy consumer in 2016.

BBB has tips to help you be a smarter consumer in 2016:

Get all contracts in writing and be sure you read the fine print.

Never wire money or provide payment via Green Dot Money Card or other prepaid debit card to someone you do not know for any reason.

Never give personal information to anyone who calls or emails you, even if they say they are from your bank, the police, FBI or IRS. As soon as you reply to the link in the email or give personal information out over the phone, you could become a victim of identity theft.

If a caller demands immediate payment or threatens to have you arrested, just hang up. It’s a scam. If they call back, hang up again.

Be very skeptical of hot deals, free offers, prizes and sweepstakes.

Before you jump for joy when you receive an email about inheriting millions, call BBB to check it out.

If you get a check in the mail that you are not expecting, be very suspicious. Scammers send millions of fake checks out each year. Check with your bank or BBB before you deposit it, so you don’t get taken.

Remember – “free” rarely turns out to be free.

Pay with a credit card. Credit cards offer more buyer protections than debit cards, cash or checks.

Discuss scams with every member of your family who has internet access or a smartphone, regardless of how young or how old they are.

You can be an informed consumer who makes careful, pre-purchase decisions simply by checking businesses out with the BBB. It’s fast, easy and free.

For more information, visit www.BBB.org or call 1-877-317-7236 toll-free in N.C. and S.C.

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