Happy First Day of Summer
We jumped from Winter to Summer so it seems. . . and here are the hot five schemes to watch out for:
Concert and festival tickets
Tickets for a full list of indoor and outdoor summer concerts are hot. But before you look into purchasing, be aware of phony sellers and ticket scams.
BBB recommends: Check for top-rated ticket sellers on bbb.org or buy only directly from the venue. Never has it been easier for scammers to make very real looking counterfeits.
Warmer weather brings everyone outdoors, including door-to-door salesmen. Complaints are rolling into the BBB Scam Tracker warning of fake utility workers, shoddy repair or landscapers, fake air conditioning and home alarm inspectors.
Summer vacation and travel
This time of year, fraudulent travel agents and scam sites pop up offering cut-rate vacation discounts. Also, be leery of calls, emails texts or social media ads or offers of free/discounted vacations or timeshares. Always check the company out first on bbb.org or with another third-party source before sharing your personal information with anyone.
Don’t let your summer job search end in disaster. Know how to discern if potential employers are out to steal your money, rather than help you make some. Checking the employer’s BBB Business Reviews is a good place to start your research.
Spring and summer are probably the two busiest times of the year for people to move and it’ll continue through September. To avoid falling victim to a moving scam, know what to look for by asking for a written a contract and proof of insurance from the company before the first box is packed. If the moving truck shows up and it’s completely different from the company name, ask questions and if the movers start asking for an up-front deposit or only accept cash payment, call the company you originally contracted with.
If you're a victim of any of these scams, report it to scamtracker.org
BBB Releases Study About Scams and Small Businesses
There are about 35 million small businesses in North America and half of them employ the private workforce - a significant part of the nation’s economy. They’re also a significant target for scammers.
In fact, a recent BBB report revealed many small businesses are typically very busy, understaffed and are a prime target of being taken advantage of because they’re in the business of talking to complete strangers. Because of these factors, they’re more likely to fall for fake directory ads or phony invoices for toner cartridges, office supplies and the like. The Scams and Your Small Business Research Report also found that 67% of businesses surveyed believe there is more risk today and 30 percent believe there’s about the same risk. However, of those surveyed, 82% believed other businesses were more likely to get scammed over their own companies.
There’s a sense among small business owners that they’re not as vulnerable as others because
1) small businesses are particularly vulnerable to scams,
2) small businesses are less likely to report scams, and
3) small businesses are particularly susceptible to online scams
Fortunately, businesses owners can take steps to protect against someone trying to take advantage of them. The first step is to train and inform employees on how to respond to random phone and email requests. Next, verify all invoices and payments that come in and finally, be tech savvy by not trusting Caller ID. It’s a convenience but it’s not always right. Encourage employees to question emails that come in with an attachment or requests for passwords or financial information. You can learn more about this report that was jointly released by BBB and the Federal Trade Commission by visiting bbb.org/smallbusiness.
Three years ago, the FTC warned the public and took action against crypto jacking, an activity where cyber thieves use your device’s processing power to “mine” cryptocurrency, which they can then convert into cold, hard cash.
Cryptojacking scams have continued to evolve without requiring you to install anything. Sometimes the malicious code is embedded in a website or an ad to infect your device. Once clicked, the programmer can help themselves to your device’s processor without you even knowing. You might make an unlucky visit to a website that uses a crypto jacking code, click a link in a phishing email, or mistype a web address. Any of those could lead to crypto jacking. While the scammer cashes out, your device may slow down, burn through battery power, or crash.
To avoid something like this happening to you, research and install a reliable antivirus software and keep it current on all of your devices. Avoid installing software or apps you don’t trust, haven’t researched or are familiar with.
Watch for and close apps or programs that are performance hogs - this may be a symptom of a crypto jacking. Consider closing sites or apps that slow your device or drain your battery quickly.