The New Year is here. Out with the old and in with the new. And in doing so, the Better Business Bureau has some resolutions that can help you have a safer, scam free 2014!
Be skeptical of “job offers” that promise easy money.
With high unemployment and long job searches common, scammers are targeting people desperate to find jobs. Beware of any job offer,work-at-home scheme or business opportunity that promises big money for little work and no experience.
Always read the fine print—especially with “free” trial offers.
Read the terms and conditions of any “free” trial offer before handing over credit or debit card numbers.
Keep your computer safe.
If you haven’t already done so, install anti-virus software on your computer and check regularly for software and operating system updates. Don’t open attachments or click on links in emails unless you can confirm the email came from someone you trust.
Never wire money to someone you don’t know.
Many scams require that the victim wire money back to the scammers. Scammers know that tracking money sent via MoneyCard or Western Union is extremely difficult. Once you’ve wired the money, it’s nearly impossible to get it back.
Fight identity theft.
Shred paper documents that include sensitive financial data and dispose of computers, cellphones and digital data safely.
Ask your BBB for help.
File a complaint with BBB if you have a disagreement with a business or if you have been ripped off by a scammer. Always check a business out with your BBB before you buy.
Fight fake check fraud.
Scammers have the ability to create professional-looking phony checks. Educate yourself on the commontypes of check fraud and be extremely wary of checks that come with claims that you’ve won the lottery, are eligible for a government grant or have landed a job as a secret shopper. These are almost always scams.
Get everything in writing.
Don’t just take a company’s word for it. Get every verbal agreement in writing to limit miscommunication and misunderstandings between what you expect and what the business delivers.