Each year the Better Business Bureau compiles a list of the scams that have most significantly impacted consumers across British Columbia. The following is a brief summary of the top scams from the past calendar year and simple tips to protect yourself from becoming a victim of fraud in 2010.
Credit Repair Schemes - Be wary of promises of fast, easy ways to fix or even erase damage to your credit history.
TIP: For credit help, contact the Credit Counselling Society at nomoredebts.org
Not So “Free” Trials - Many websites that offer a free trial for products do not disclose the billing terms and conditions or do not prominently display such details on their website.
Tip: Before giving the company any credit or debit card information, review the website fully and be aware that free trials typically result in repeated billing.
ID Theft - ID theft is when someone uses your personal information to obtain loans, goods, or services and does not pay the bills.
TIP: Never give out your personal information (especially your SIN, PIN, account numbers and passwords) to anyone, unless you have a personal reason to initiate a conversation in which such information is required.
Home Repair Rip-Offs - Beware of “contractors” who use scare tactics to encourage you to perform unnecessary or over-priced home renovations.
TIP: Do your research and comparison-shop before starting a renovation. Start with the BBB and search for a company reliability report at vi.bbb.org
Free Government Money Schemes - Consumers have reported a number of companies that promise “free” advice on how to get government grants when in reality they charge a fee for participation.
TIP: Federal grant-related information is readily available for free on the Service Canada website servicecanada.gc.ca
Business Opportunities - Watch for investment opportunities that appear lucrative, but often are more hype than substance.
TIP: Go to the BC Securities Commission’s investright.org website for information on what to look out for when choosing to invest.
Cashback Fraud - Be aware of situations in which you are sent a cheque for a sum of money and asked to return a portion via money transfer.
TIP: Never wire money to a stranger. If you believe you are a victim of fraud contact phonebusters.com
Mystery Jobs Scams - Be skeptical of mystery shopper ads in newspapers or on online job listings.
TIP: If you are looking for mystery shopping work, go to the Mystery Shopping
Providers Association (MSPA) website at mysteryshop.org
For a more detailed description of the top scams impacting consumers and tips to protect yourself, visit vi.bbb.org
JANUARY 2010 SENIOR LIVING VANCOUVER ISLAND
JANUARY 2010 SENIOR LIVING VANCOUVER AND LOWER MAINLAND
This article has been viewed 1915 times.