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Southern Alberta & East Kootenay
Summer Scams Heat Up
Calgary door-to-door scam sparks BBB release of Top Summer Scams
June 25, 2014
   

June 24, 2014 - CALGARY, ALBERTA - In the wake of a Calgary Police Service warning about a door-to-door donation scam, BBB releases a list of the top summer scams. From dishonest door-to-door salespeople and malicious movers to conniving concert ticket dealers and evasive employment offers, Better Business Bureau says summertime brings out the fair weather fraudsters.

Top Summer Scams

High pressure door-to-door sales tactics. Despite the fact thatmany legitimate companies use door-to-door sales and laws regulate solicitors to protect residents, illegitimate salespeople are lurking out there. Before saying yes, do your research, get all promises in writing, including start and finish dates. Never sign a contract that has an open-ended completion date or blank spaces. Remember: if it has to be "now," it has to be "no."

Vacation scams. Phony travel agents and websites are known for touting too-good-to-be-true travel deals. Whether it's a fake timeshare rental or a falsely promised Disney vacation, don't let a travel scam take you for a ride. Make sure the offer is legitimate by double-checking with airlines, hotels and tour operators at their advertised contact information. Check out the company's marketplace reputation at bbb.org.

Unscrupulous movers. Summer is the peak time of year for changing residences and unscrupulous movers are waiting to take advantage of the busy season. Always research the company and check out the mover's BBB Business Review at bbb.org. Not all price quotes online or over the phone are legitimate (or binding), and crooks are not likely to send an estimator to your home in advance. Also remember that the lowest estimate can sometimes be an unrealistic, low-ball offer, which may cost you more in the end.

Summer concert ticket scams. Before paying for concert ticketsonline, make sure the seller is reputable. Oftentimes, phony sellers will trick consumers into wiring money only to be left empty-handed. Most concert venues now allow ticket holders to print tickets from personal computers, which also gives scammers the opportunity to sell the same ticket over and over to unsuspecting music lovers.

Employment scams that can turn a hot summer cold. Finding summer employment is a top priority for most college and high school students. Always be wary of employers who require fees for training and background checks, or who advertise "no experience needed," as these could be red flags.

Fly-by-night-contractors. Summer is the season for landscaping, renovations and other home repairs, but there are shady contractors out there looking to take advantage of unsuspecting homeowners. If you're approached by a contractor claiming they happened to be in the neighbourhood and noticed your house is unsafe, but has the tools and the time to fix it for you, walk away.

Opt-out lawn care contracts. If you've signed a lawn-care contract in previous years but want to discontinue the service, be sure to check the cancellation policy. Some companies operate on an auto-renewal system which means you will be automatically billed for service unless you take the steps to cancel the contract.  

For more details about CPS's warning, visit albertapolicereport.ca.

For tips you can trust, visit bbb.org and for the latest, check out our blog, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter

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Media Contact:
Leah Brownridge, Marketing and Communications Coordinator
(403) 531-8793 or leah@calgary.bbb.org

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For more than 100 years, Better Business Bureau has been helping people find businesses, brands and charities they can trust. In 2013, people turned to BBB more than 132 million times for BBB Business Reviews on more than 4.5 million businesses and Charity Reports on 11,000 charities, all available for free at bbb.org. BBB Serving Southern Alberta and East Kootenay, founded in 1954, is one of 112 local, independent BBBs across North America.

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