Scammers are preparing to tap into your accounts, get your information and steal your money and peace of mind. Better Business Bureau is providing a few tips to help consumers avoid scams in 2023. Weight loss scams, employment scams and phishing scams are all common scams that can be avoided with vigilance.
“This is the time of year when we encourage consumers to have a plan in place to avoid being scammed,” said Robyn Householder, president & CEO of Better Business Bureau Middle Tennessee and Southern Kentucky. “The one thing we want consumers to remember is never to make a buying decision under pressure. Adhering to this tip can save you hundreds of dollars this year.”
Weight loss scams
If weight loss is your goal in the new year, beware of products or free trials that promise fast results. Anytime you see miracle claims for weight loss products, be skeptical. If a product promises you will lose 10 or 20 pounds a week, that is a red flag.
Also beware of free trials for weight loss supplements. How long is the free trial? How much will you pay after the trial is over?
If you are looking for a new job in 2023, beware of employment scams where jobs turn out to be fake. If there is a job opportunity that requires money from you upfront for job supplies, training fees, and applications, it may be a scam.
Additionally, be wary of big money for small jobs. f an employer is promising outrageously good wages for what seems like simple tasks such as reshipping packages, stuffing envelopes, or answering phones, this is a red flag.
These too-good-to-be-true offers are an attempt to steal your personal information from a fake job application and can cause problems for you for a long time.
Avoid “phishing” scams and fraudulent messages designed to grab your attention and get your personal information.
Text messages saying you must click a link to verify your account, emails or calls claiming your computer has been infected may all be scams. To verify if additional information is needed for your account, contact the business directly to confirm.
Puppy sale scams
Purchasing a puppy is at an all-time high and can be an emotionally charged experience. Consumers are scammed by an online seller who requests money before seeing the pet in person. The puppy is never shipped or available for pick up after a payment is made to the seller. To avoid being scammed, visit and inspect the pet by arranging to meet with the prospective seller in person. Most legitimate breeders welcome the visit.
Additionally, never send money via wire transfer to people or companies you don’t know and trust.
Thirdly, visit BBB.org and find out if there is a listing of the business or the breeder on the website. Finally, shop locally. Consider visiting the local animal shelter. Many shelters are looking for fosters to help relieve animal stress and reduce overcrowding at their facilities.
Visit BBB.org before doing business with a company. Always report suspected fraud to the BBB by filing a complaint using BBB.org/Scamtracker. Also, file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) at reportfraud.ftc.gov or call 877-FTC-Help.