Educational Consumer Tips


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36 Article(s) Found.
6/23/2014
Discouraged by high interest rages and hard-to-find risk or investment capital, businesses in need of commercial loans to expand or even stay in existence may use the services of loan brokers who promise to find needed funds for a fee. Loan brokers should not be confused with either mortgage brokers, who arrange real estate loans, or money lenders, which include such entities as banks, savings and loans, and credit unions.
7/25/2017
Not all "charities" are the real deal. Unfortunately, scammers cash in on the generosity of donors, especially in the wake of natural disasters when people across the globe rush to donate in support of relief efforts. Do your research first to make sure your contributions go to actual causes and not scammers' pockets.
7/25/2017
It’s hard to resist a great bargain, especially on luxury goods and other high-priced items, but when it comes to counterfeit merchandise, consumers get scammed in a myriad of ways. Counterfeit products are rarely of the same quality as the original. They steal from designers and innovators who create original work, take business away from honest retailers, and reduce tax revenue. In some cases, counterfeit goods finance illegal activities and even exploit child labor.
7/25/2017
In this common con, scammers impersonate a bank or other credit card issuer. By verifying account information or offering a better interest rate, con artists try to fool you into sharing your credit card or banking information. Once they have this, scammers can make unauthorized transactions or commit identity theft.
7/25/2017
We all share a lot of information when we use the internet. Our devices communicate with us – and with each other – for ease of shopping, banking, travel arrangements, and keeping in touch with friends. When online, it’s important to safeguard your data to help avoid scams, fraud, and identity theft. Better Business Bureau and the National Cyber Security Alliance offer the following tips to help secure the privacy of your critical information:
7/25/2017
Better Business Bureau and the National Cyber Security Alliance urge you to follow this four-week outline and clean up your online life with an easy-to-follow timeline and plan (click here for a downloadable PDF of the checklist):
7/25/2017
Emergency scams (sometimes called grandparent scams) prey on your willingness to help friends and family in need. Scammers impersonate their targets’ loved ones, make up an urgent situation, and plead for help… and money. Thanks to social media sites, scammers can offer plausible stories and incorporate nicknames and real travel plans into the con to convince their targets.
8/2/2017
Fake check and money order scams take many different forms, but the underlying con is the same. Scammers take advantage of the fact that many people don’t understand the rules about check deposits and wire transfers. It is sometimes called the “overpayment scam” because it involves a large initial payment to the target – much more than they are owed for the transaction – and a large refund back to the scammer.
7/25/2017
Be wary of anyone who contacts you out of blue with an “opportunity” to make a fortune by helping him or her get money or valuables out of their home country. Many of these schemes originated in Nigeria, where they violate section 419 of the Nigerian criminal code, hence the label “419” or Nigerian fraud.
8/22/2016
This Sunday is National Senior Citizens Day in the U.S., and Better Business Bureau has some great news: the stereotype of the “little old lady” as scam victim is wrong. BBB research shows that seniors are less likely to be victims of scams because they are more likely to recognize a scam when they see one.
7/25/2017
Scams are designed to either steal your money now, or steal your identity now in order to steal your money later. Scammers have all kinds of techniques to collect personally identifiable information (PII). Once they have it, they can effectively become you, using your identity to open accounts, file taxes, or obtain medical coverage.
7/25/2017
Investment scams take many forms, but all prey on the desire to make money without much risk or initial funding. They are often complex cons involving detailed stories. It can sometimes take years to realize you’ve been scammed. Even savvy investors fall for investment scams. Con artists are masters of persuasion, and they often learn the weaknesses of their targets and tailor their pitches accordingly.
7/26/2017
“Malware” is any kind of computer bug with malicious intent. It can affect your computer, tablet, or phone in many ways. One type of malware, called “spyware,” is designed to steal your personal information. “Adware” displays unwanted ads. “Ransomware” can hold your device hostage until you pay the scammer to unlock it.
7/26/2017
Be sure to do careful research when hiring a moving company. Scammers can turn relocating into an expensive nightmare. These scams run the gamut from missing items, massive price hikes, and in some cases, goods being held hostage for additional payment.
7/27/2017
Whether you’re a buyer or a seller, online transactions require extra caution to avoid scams. These cons often involve purchases and sales on eBay, Craigslist, Kijiji, and other direct seller-to-buyer sites. Scammers may pretend to purchase an item only to send you a bogus check and ask you to refund the “accidental” overpayment. In other cases, the scammer will pretend to be a legitimate online seller but never deliver the goods.
7/27/2017
Always be wary of unexpected emails, calls, or text messages that ask for personal information. Many of these communications are from imposters masquerading as trustworthy businesses and organizations. They are “phishing” for your Social Security or Social Insurance number, passwords, credit card information, or other personal details for use in identity theft. Don’t take the bait!
7/27/2017
Debt collection scams are one of the most frightening and persistent scam types. Scammers harass you for weeks or even months, both at home and at work, trying to get you to pay a debt you don’t even owe. Scammers will often know personal information about you and your family members, and have been known to threaten relatives into paying up.
7/27/2017
Finding a new place to live – or even a vacation rental – can be a time consuming process. Scammers know this and cash in on eager renters who rush into agreements without doing the necessary research. The proliferation of online real estate and vacation rental sites make it easy for scammers to steal photos and descriptions of real places, and free online bulletin boards like Craigslist attract bargain hunters.
7/27/2017
Online dating and social media have made it easier than ever to meet new people and find dates. Unfortunately, it has made scammers’ work simpler too. Con artists create compelling backstories, and full-fledged identities, then trick you into falling for someone who doesn’t even exist. This form of deception is known as “catfishing.”
5/1/2014
For students struggling to pay tuition, a sudden offer of a grant or scholarship can look like a dream come true. But it could be bait for a scam. This con hooks victims with the promise of money, but upfront “fees” never actually materialize into those much needed funds.
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