Educational Consumer Tips
Better Business Bureau
THE REQUESTS FOR INFO LOOK LEGIT, BUT THE MOTIVES ARE NOT. (9/06) The BBB Urges Consumers to Play it Safe on the Internet --
Sometimes the subject lines hint at great wealth ("Triple your income"). Other times, they imply that a business stands ready to give you a great deal ("We have four lenders competing to refinance your home"). Frequently, the e-mail is disguised to appear to be from a legitimate financial institution ("Please update your online banking records") or a government agency ("Get a tax refund on your Visa or MasterCard.")
While these and other unsolicited e-mails may appear to be legitimate, Better Business Bureau knows otherwise. Con artists use emotional triggers when targeting unsuspecting consumers and employ the latest technology tools to expand their pool of victims", said Randall L. Hoth president/CEO of the Wisconsin BBB.
BBB's in the U.S. and Canada reach out to remind consumers to play it safe on the Internet and protect their personal information when shopping, banking or investing online. "The Internet offers a convenient, easy and safe means to shop for products and services when consumers use common sense and select reputable merchants.
If you don't know the sender of an e-mail and you provide any personal information, it's like handing over your wallet to a stranger on the street", Randall L. Hoth said. You run the same risk when you submit information on a website that does not reveal its physical location, doesn't provide a customer contact, and gives no indication that it will protect your privacy.
The BBB notes that there are hundreds of thousands of trustworthy merchants offering products and services through the Internet.