BBB Hot Topics: May 2012

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 A list of hot topics by the Better Business Bureau for the month of May 2012. For more information visit www.bbb.org.

BBB Hot Topics: May 2012

1. Is that business BBB Accredited? The BBB Logo is a symbol of TRUST. BBB is receiving calls that some unethical businesses, that are not BBB Accredited, are using the BBB Logo. Before you hire, make sure truth lies behind that logo. Check out the company report at www.bbb.org or call 1-800-388-2222.

2. Tis the season for storm damage! If your home is damaged by spring storms, beware that Fly-By-Night contractors may come to your neighborhood, offering to do work for a “too-good-to-be-true” price. They take your money and skip town, or do shoddy work. Check out a company with BBB first at www.bbb.org.

3. Warmer weather brings Door-to-Door Scams! Consumers are telling BBB that aggressive home alarm salespeople are knocking. Other door-to-door scams include magazine sales, where a “student” gives a sales pitch that may have to do with raising money for a trip overseas for their school. Do your research first!

4. BBB is receiving calls from consumers who are confused over a letter they received from National TV Processing Center out of Ohio. The company offers a digital HDTV antenna. Consumers get the impression that they will receive 953 channels as opposed to 953 shows as the ad claims. Consumers are likely to only get major local channels and a few smaller channels from the antenna.

5. Memorial Day Scams: Beware these scams; Fake charities raise funds on behalf of military organizations; Con artists pose as the Veterans Administration, contacting vets saying they need to update their credit, bank, or other records with the VA; Scammers also offer “instant approval” military loans that come with hefty interest rates and fees.

6. Whether you are ordering flowers, shopping for something customized, or arranging a spa day, be smart on Mother’s Day! Check out the company first at www.bbb.org. Understand the store’s guarantee, return, and shipping policies. Also, use a credit card when ordering, so you can dispute the charges if the vendor doesn’t deliver.

7. Beware of fake At&t and Verizon bills in your inbox! The emails encourage the recipients to click on a link, which leads to a third party website that downloads a virus onto the recipient’s computer. Delete the email! Go directly to the official At&t or Verizon website.

8. Scam artists are posing as officials from IC3 – the Internet Crime Complaint Center. They send emails asking if the recipient has previously been scammed, and if so, to provide contact details so the “investigators” can speak with them. The scammers call the victim, claiming to have recovered the money they lost. The scammer then asks the victim to provide personal information or to pay a fee to release the funds. This is a phishing attempt!

9. Pinterest is the new social media craze, making it the perfect target for a scam! Scammers are getting users to spread images linked to phishing sites, by re-pinning the pictures on friends’ boards. They are usually images promoting free offers or gift cards in return for completing a survey. Recent examples include Starbucks, Coach, and Red Velvet Cakes.

10. Nominate a business or non-profit you trust for the BBB Torch Awards! If a business you know offers great customer service, or an organization is close to your heart, nominate it TODAY! Contact Reanna Smith-Hamblin, VP/Communications at 502-588-0043.