By Ashleigh, K-Staff
The phishing e-mail. The suspicious social media sale. The fake job scams. There are a lot of threats when it comes to scams these days, whether by e-mail, online, over the phone, texts, or even in person. How do you know you’re being scammed? There must be better ways to research.
Several organizations exist primarily for the safety of consumers, and they offer fantastic resources. Here are three great websites you can use to verify before you buy (or give).
The Better Business Bureau (BBB) is known for being an objective source for evaluating a business for their reliability and ethics. Being BBB-accredited is important for a business in earning trust from customers and potential customers. But did you know they keep a database of scams you can browse?
Explore reported scams in your area at BBB.org/ScamTracker. You can also search businesses from the organization’s home page to verify if the business you’re checking on is legitimate.
More commonly known as the FTC, the organization is dedicated to “Protecting America’s Consumers”. There are a lot of great resources on the FTC website—you can report fraud, register for the Do-Not-Call-List, see alerts, and so much more.
The FTC regularly posts alerts, blogs, and other information about current scams on their website at ftc.gov. Click ‘Scams’ to start learning about the latest scams and information to keep yourself safe! If you’re wondering if you’re facing a scam, the FTC may offer information that would allow you to better identify it.
Education is key to prevention! Fraud.org, a project of the National Consumers League, is flush with information about common scams, fraud alerts, and how to file complaints after a possible breach or exposure.
Click on Common Scams at the top of their home page to see if you recognize aspects of these scams in your own experiences.
The more you know, the less likely you are to fall for a scam, get caught in a fraudster’s net, or suffer major losses. Stay up to date, verify before you buy, and know what to do if the worst happens.