When it comes to scams, here's how to avoid becoming 'April Fool'd'

April 01, 2014

April 1, 2014 - CALGARY, ALBERTA - If you haven't already, chances are good that you'll have a run-in with a scammer.  It might be a phishing email asking you to click on a link, a phone call telling you your computer has been compromised, or a contractor who shows up at your door ready to trim your trees. BBB is warning consumers to beware of scammers this April Fool's day. 

Scams are everywhere. Each and every day, scammers are finding new and clever ways to cheat people out of their hard-earned money. While the scams are constantly changing, the characteristics of a scam victim remain fairly constant. Understanding what scam victims have in common can help you avoid being an "April Fool" and falling for the next scam that comes your way.

Sandra Crozier-McKee, president and CEO of BBB Serving Southern Alberta and East Kootenay says it can be easy for anyone to fall victim to the scheming ways of scammers. "It can be as simple as making emotional, impulsive decisions or automatically assuming a business or individual is legitimate," she says. "Investing your time in researching organizations will reward you with the peace of mind of making a trustworthy business decision. If you have suspicions, check with BBB before a scammer April Fool's you."

Here's what scam victims have in common...

  • They take someone at their word. They don't do their homework, ask questions, or check with BBB.
  • They let themselves get emotional. They are often times motivated by fear, greed, romance, or excitement.
  • They don't recognize common persuasion tactics. They will believe anything the sales person tells them or give into high-pressure sales tactics.
  • They act impulsively. They download files, click on pop-up ads, sign-up for trial offers and open emails from unknown senders. 
  • They are afraid of being rude. They don't want to hang up the phone or shut the door.
  • They don't protect their personal information. They don't shred documents or keep things locked up. They use the same password for EVERY account.
  • They live alone or are isolated in some way.
  • They are worried about money.  They may have recently lost their job or have increased debt.
  • They don't read the fine print. Perhaps they left their reading glasses at home.
  • They want so much to believe the lie.  They hush the logical "voice of reason" inside them and push rational thought to the side.
  • They rush into decisions.  
  • They are embarrassed.  They won't tell anyone about being scammed so the scam (and the scammers) continue.

For more information and other consumer tips, visit bbb.org



Media contact:

Leah Brownridge
Marketing Communications Coordinator
Email: leah@calgary.bbb.org
Phone: (403) 531-8793

About BBB:

For more than 100 years, Better Business Bureau has been helping people find businesses, brands and charities they can trust. In 2015, people turned to BBB more than 172 million times for BBB Business Reviews on more than 5.3 million businesses and Charity Reports on 11,000 charities, all available for free at bbb.org. There are local,independent BBBs across the United States, Canada and Mexico, including BBB Serving Southern Alberta and East Kootenay, which was founded in 1954 and garners more than one million instances of service annually. 

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