Brian Thomas

Brian Thomas

Based in Cincinnati, OH, the Brian Thomas Morning Show covers news and politics, both local and national, from a conservative point of view.Full Bio

 

BBB December Scams

Consumer Tip:

BBB Study Update: Average losses in puppy scams rise, even as cases fall

Puppy scams remain consistently profitable for scammers because their multi-tiered setup allows them to convincingly go back to a consumer several times to ask for money, according to an update of a Better Business Bureau® (BBB®) study.

Pet scams in North America appear to be on the decline, consumer losses are expected to exceed $2 million. That total is down by a third since the peak of more than $3 million during the pandemic in 2020-2021, according to BBB Scam TrackerSM. 

The average monetary losses are climbing, however, with an average loss of $850 in 2022, up 60% since 2017. 

Yorkies, Dachshunds and French Bulldogs make up nearly 30% of all puppy scams, according to 2022 BBB Scam Tracker reports. Consumers mentioned more than 40 breeds, however, meaning that buyers should be cautious when shopping for any breed online. Pet scams historically make up a quarter of all online shopping frauds reported to BBB and are on track to be about 18% this year. 

Puppy scammers lure people in with fake websites, promises of cute puppies, then ask for more money for shipping or special crates. It’s easy to be swept up in the emotions of the moment when buying a pet and push forward despite reservations.  

BBB Scam Tracker reports show that those who tried to purchase pets without seeing them in person, use hard-to-track payment methods like payment apps, and accept extra charges like shipping insurance or special cages are at an increased risk of being scammed. Instead, check out BBB’s tips on BBB.org/puppyscams

Consumer Tip:

It’s Porch Pirate Season!

The rise of online shopping and expedited delivery services is a convenient service for many, allowing holiday purchasers to search for the perfect gift for friends and family. Unfortunately, purchasing and having the item delivered to the proper address does not guarantee it’ll stay on the porch once it’s delivered. Package theft continues to be an issue for many Americans, with approximately 14% of consumers experiencing package theft in 2022.

Package thieves, also known as “porch pirates,” often take advantage of an opportunity and may frequent a neighborhood or community multiple times before moving on to another. They will often target houses that provide a quick in-and-out route, especially if the porch or area where packages are delivered is within 25 feet of the street and are easily visible. Over the past five years, internet searches using the keywords “package stolen” nearly doubled during December, demonstrating the impact of this crime on households across the nation.

  • Protect your packages by letting neighbors know you’ve got something coming.
  • See if local law enforcement is offering to hold onto deliveries
  • Pick up the item at the store instead of having it delivered or before ordering it, see if the retailer has a package receiving service.
  • Arranged delivery at work - if possible.
  • Consider installing security cameras.

For more information visit BBB.org/holiday

BBB Business Tip: How to boost your small business using Instagram

Instagram has evolved into a go-to destination for learning more about products and keeping up influential businesses, especially among young consumers. Having an “Insta-presence” is an increasingly reliable way to boost a business’ bottom line by enhancing the visibility of products and services. 

The best way to connect with the audience is using hashtags and location tags. Just one hashtag can grow engagement rate to 29% per 1,000 followers. Tagging a location can generate up to 79% more engagement. 

Utilizing follower-generated content is possible by reaching out to them and asking them for permission to reshare it. These types of posts create greater brand awareness and present the business as friendly and interested in its fans. 

Utilize the Instagram store feature which allows brands to sell products directly on the app. This update seems to cater primarily to product-specific (not service-related) storefronts.

Plan content distribution for maximum reach on platforms that are the most active and effective. 

Monitor, measure, and tweak for best results since this is a long-term strategy. Compare results with the original goals that were established in the beginning of the campaign.

Find additional tips on BBB.org/BizHQ for more information. The holidays are a busy time of year for small business owners. Look for additional tips on BBB.org/BizHQ


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