A $2 million yacht; a $14 million rare Ferrari; a $36 million private jet. What do all of these expensive luxury items have in common?
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BBB and AGO Celebrate Consumer Protection Week
Better Business Bureau and the Washington State Attorney General’s Office are partnering up for National Consumer Protection Week, March 2-8. Both agencies are committed to providing tools to protect against scams and make better purchasing decisions.
“National Consumer Protection Week is a coordinated campaign where consumers can take advantage of useful information to help them make better-informed decisions,” says Tyler Andrew, CEO of BBB serving Alaska, Oregon and Western Washington. “We’re a proud partner of National Consumer Protection Week and the Washington State Attorney General’s Office. We encourage everyone to use our resources to combat scams.”
“You are your own best shield against identity thieves and online threats,” says Attorney General Bob Ferguson. “I am proud to partner with Better Business Bureau during National Consumer Protection Week. This is an ideal time to ensure you know how to sniff out scams and make smart buying decisions.”
BBB and the AG will be posting daily tips throughout the week on their websites and social media pages. Together, the two aim to address growing problems surrounding technology, identity theft, health and safety as well as other consumer-related issues.
General tips to avoid scams:
- Make sure they’re legitimate; research businesses or organizations before spending money.
- Do not give Social Security, financial or other personal information to strangers who make contact by phone, internet or mail.
- Keep antivirus software up to date and be careful when surfing the Internet.
- Shred all physical copies of important documents when they are no longer needed.
- Trust instincts; if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
Writing an accurate and effective review can be tough.
Are you interested in writing reviews that people will actually read? Are you interested in helping people make better-informed purchasing decisions? As with any skill, understanding the fundamentals is key. And as my elementary school principal use to say: “Perfect practice makes perfect.”
More and more people are turning to online reviews…
Prepaid Debit Cards Are Easy Money for Scammers
According to Better Business Bureau reports, consumers across the Pacific Northwest and Alaska are being scammed out of hundreds of dollars with prepaid money cards. These cards offer many conveniences, but create easy opportunities for scammers; consumers should be aware of the dangers associated with prepaid cards.
In February 2014, BBB serving Alaska, Oregon and Western Washington received information from a woman who claims to have been ripped off by an elaborate Green Dot MoneyPak scheme. The woman reports that a person called her home stating that her son was eligible for a $7,500 education scholarship. The caller directed the woman to load a Green Dot MoneyPak card with $200—to pay the “processing fees”—and call back. After giving the caller the prepaid card number, she was instructed to wait for further instructions. However, the caller never followed up about the scholarship and the funds were drained from the card.
Green Dot MoneyPak cards can be advantageous when utilized for the right purposes, but crooks prefer these cards because of the anonymity and how easy it is to make transfers: Once they have the 14-digit card number, they’re as good as gone.
BBB offers advice on avoiding prepaid card scams:
- Be suspicious of callers who demand immediate payment—for any reason.
- Never give out personal or financial information to unsolicited callers or emailers.
- Never wire money or provide debit, credit or prepaid card numbers to persons unknown.
Remember, anyone with the number from the back of a prepaid debit card has access to the funds on that card. Green Dot reminds people that it is not responsible for lost funds and offers additional resources at moneypak.com/ProtectYourMoney.
Note: Utility companies and government agencies will never demand immediate payment by prepaid debit.
For more information or to report a scam, visit BBB’s Scam Source.