Ben Spradling, Content Manager for the Better Business Bureau, joined AM Extra Wednesday to talk about how scammers are now targeting a younger audience.
BBB tips to help consumers shop safer and smarter
Better Business Bureau has teamed together with federal, state, and local agencies for the launch of this year’s National Consumer Protection Week (NCPW), going on today through March 6.
The NCPW campaign is held annually to educate consumers on ways to make better informed, more secure purchasing decisions. In 2020, BBB received more than 81,000 business complaints filed by consumers and, nationally, saw more than 46,000 scams reported through its ScamTracker platform.
In support of NCPW, BBB is recommending consumers follow these tips for shopping smarter:
Read the ad. Make sure you fully understand the terms of the offer, including any promoted sales prices or warranty offerings. Advertisers should be truthful with their messages and adhere to the BBB Code of Advertising.
Get everything in writing. Always get verbal promises in writing and be sure to read the fine print. This way, you fully understand your rights and are aware of any agreed upon conditions. Save all communications with businesses, whether it’s a text or email, and make sure you take pictures when necessary.
Shop with a credit card. In case of a fraudulent transaction, a credit card provides additional protections. Credit cards make it easier to dispute charges that you didn’t approve. Debit cards, prepaid cards, or gift cards don’t have the same protections.
Know where to go in case of a dispute. You can file a complaint at bbb.org, as well as the Attorney General, Licensing Agency, and/or the Federal Trade Commission. BBB also offers arbitration and mediation services to resolve disputes.
Stay on top of the latest scams. You can use the BBB ScamTracker tool to file your scam, warn other consumers about an issue, and find out about other scams in your area.
Look for the BBB seal. Before you do business with anyone, check to see if they are accredited. A BBB Accredited Business must meet all BBB Standards for Trust and have pledged to support the objectives promoted by the BBB.
More information for making smarter and safer shopping choices can be found at trust-bbb.org. Additionally, free consumer education materials and insight provided by consumer protection experts is available through the FTC.