Summer is a great time to take that long-overdue vacation or make much-needed home repairs, but as the weather heats up, so do scams. Better Business Bureau (BBB) warns about popular summer scams consumers should be aware of.
Vacation Scams: Fake travel agents and websites use too-good-to-be-true deals only to take your money. Whether it’s a fake timeshare rental or a bogus Disney vacation, don’t let a vacation scam take you for a ride. Make sure the offer is legitimate by checking with BBB at bbb.org. If BBB does not have a BBB Business Review on the company, dig deeper by conducting a Google search of the company’s phone number, address or website to see if consumers have reported any issues.
Moving Scams: Summer is known to be a peak time for moving, and unlicensed movers and dishonest scammers 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. Be careful with price quotes over the phone and online estimates, as they might not be binding. Also, remember that the lowest estimate can sometimes be an unrealistic, low-ball offer, which may cost you more in the end.
Concert Ticket Scams: Before paying for concert ticketsonline, make sure the seller is reputable. Oftentimes, phony sellers trick consumers into wiring money with no intention of sending real tickets. Most concert venues allow ticket holders to print tickets from personal computers, which gives scammers the opportunity to sell the same ticket repeatedly to unsuspecting consumers. Be wary of sellers who offer a sad tale as to why they cannot use the tickets, only accept cash, want the money wired or transferred through a prepaid account, and/or pressure you to act quickly.
Door-to-Door Scams: Many legitimate companies use door-to-door sales, and various city ordinances regulate solicitors to protect residents from unscrupulous individuals. However, consumers need to watch for individuals who try to work their way around the system to line their pockets. Many door-to-door salesmen offer deals for everything from driveway paving and air conditioning repair to security systems. Before saying yes, get all promises in writing, including start and finish dates. Never sign a contract that has an open-ended completion date or blank spaces.
Employment Scams: Finding summer employment is top priority for most college and high school students. Don’t let the seasonal job hunt turn into a waste of time and money. Be wary of employers who require fees for training and background checks, or who tout “no experience needed.”
Sign up for BBB’s Scam Stopper at bbb.org/scam.