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BBB Hot Topics: January 2018

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Better Business Bureau

 Take a look at BBB’s hot topics for January 2018!

  1. Be careful when purchasing items online through sites like Craigslist or eBay. One local consumer saw a RV for sale through eBay. The seller asked him to go through eBay payments and send a wire transfer for purchase. Remember, if it sounds too good to be true – it probably is.
  2. If you receive a letter asking for a donation to protect your social security benefits, don’t fall for it! The letter claims to be from a nonprofit advocacy group and requests your donation to help prevent Congress from abolishing social security. This is nothing but a scam.
  3. Beware of letters or phone calls from “Mega Millions Sweepstakes” or “International Lottery.” These scam artists claim you have won millions of dollars and request money upfront to claim your winnings. This is a scam!
  4. Don’t fall for phony Facebook posts! Whether it’s for discount designer sunglasses or free doughnuts, many of these posts contain links that send you to phishing websites. Instead of getting a great deal, you are only providing personal information to scammers.
  5. If you receive a phone call saying you missed jury duty, hang up! Scam artists are claiming to be with the “sheriff’s office” and threaten consumers with jail time for missing jury duty. Then they demand payment over the phone with prepaid debit cards or gift cards avoid arrest. Don’t fall for it!
  6. Amazon is not giving away free gift cards. Scammers are using Amazon’s name in an email offering a gift card based on your recent purchase history. If you click on the link, you will be sent to a phishing site.
  7. Beware of vanity directory scams. These people claim you have been chosen as “best of” in your business industry and offer you options to purchase advertising or additional directories. Make sure to research these companies first since many of these are scams.
  8. If you receive a phone call regarding your vehicle warranty, be careful. Local consumers are receiving calls from scammers about extending their car’s warranty and ask for banking or personal information over the phone. If you are interested in purchasing additional coverage, contact the manufacturer directly to see what is available.
  9. If you are looking to hire a tax preparer, be sure to do your research! Before you hire someone, find out what the service fees are beforehand. Avoid those who base their fee based on a percentage of your refund. And never sign a blank tax form. Check out companies first at bbb.org.
  10. The new year is a great time to check your credit report FREE at annualcreditreport.com. This can be done up to three times annually, once from each of the credit reporting agencies. Check all information to make sure it is correct and watch for any suspicious activity.