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Better Business Bureau ®
Start With Trust®
In Denver & Boulder, Colorado
BBB Partners with Western Union to Launch BBB Scam Stopper
October 18, 2012

Denver, CO – October 18, 2012 – Better Business Bureau (BBB) and Western Union recently launched BBB Scam Stopper, an education campaign to help consumers in the United States and Canada avoid common scams that con artists use to commit consumer fraud.

“Western Union devotes extensive resources to stopping fraud,” says Shelley Bernhardt, the company’s Director of Consumer Protection. “Our agents are trained to intervene if they suspect a customer is the victim of a scam. Through our partnership with BBB, we aim to give consumers the information and resources they need to protect themselves and help stop fraud before it gets that far.”

Consumer fraud is a serious problem in North America. According to the Federal Trade Commission and the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre, consumers reported losing more than $1.5 billion to all types of scams in 2011.

“We investigate thousands of scams every year, and we know the tactics that scammers commonly use,” says Hope Marie Sneed, vice president of development and PR for the BBB of Denver/Boulder. “Some of the most common scams we warn against involve the wire transfer of funds, so Western Union is the ideal partner for this campaign. The best defense against fraud is awareness and education. It’s crucial for consumers and business owners to recognize scams before they become victims.”

On the Scam Stopper website, consumers can find facts and tips to stay informed and help reduce their chances of becoming a victim of a scam. The site also explains the science of scams, and how scammers use many of the same “sales tactics” that are used by legitimate businesses. The site also serves as a place where visitors can report scams.

The site highlights common scams like:

  • Emergency Scams (a friend or family member has an emergency, often in another country, and needs money),
  • Overpayment Scams (a buyer overpays and asks for the difference wired back to them),
  • Sweepstakes and Lottery Scams (you’ve won a lot of money, but you have to pre-pay taxes before claiming your prize), and more.

Personal finance writer/blogger, Erica Sandberg has also joined the effort and is blogging and creating public service announcements about scams and fraud for BBB Scam Stopper.

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About the BBB

The BBB is an unbiased nonprofit organization that sets and upholds high standards for fair and honest business behavior. Businesses that earn BBB Accreditation contractually agree and adhere to the organization’s high standards of ethical business behavior. The BBB provides objective advice, BBB Business Reviews , BBB Charity Reports and educational information on topics affecting marketplace trust. To further promote trust, your BBB also offers dispute resolution services for consumers and businesses. The first BBB was founded in 1912. Today, there are 115 local, independent BBBs across the U. S. and Canada. Please visit www.denver.bbb.org for more information.

About Western Union

The Western Union Company (NYSE: WU) is a leader in global payment services. Together with its Vigo, Orlandi Valuta, Pago Facil and Western Union Business Solutions branded payment services, Western Union provides consumers and businesses with fast, reliable and convenient ways to send and receive money around the world, to send payments and to purchase money orders. As of June 30, 2012, the Western Union, Vigo and Orlandi Valuta branded services were offered through a combined network of approximately 510,000 agent locations in 200 countries and territories. In 2011, The Western Union Company completed 226 million consumer-to-consumer transactions worldwide, moving $81 billion of principal between consumers, and 425 million business payments. For more information, visit www.westernunion.com.