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Springtime Equals Scam-time, Warns BBB

Posted by Admin On April - 3 - 2015

CHICAGO, IL – People look forward to spring with its warmer weather and greening foliage. Unfortunately, these changes also are hallmarks of new scams that use springtime events, such as tax time, home improvements and outdoor activities, to entrap consumers warns the Better Business Bureau.

“Scams tend to change with the seasons,” explains Steve J. Bernas, president and CEO of the Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and Northern Illinois. “Scammers change their pitches because people’s interests and attention change with the seasons.”

“April is tax time and consumers should be on guard to protect their personal identity information,” Bernas says. “Use established methods for preparing your taxes or tax preparers, and watch out for any schemes that appear to promise you something that is too good to believe.”

Bernas also cautioned about home improvement scams that take advantage of homeowners wanting to fix-up their homes, as well as travel-related scams, such as grandparents receiving calls from their supposedly traveling grand kids pleading for quick money.

“Many of these scams have been around for quite some time and they continue to surface because consumers are always seeking ways they can better their lives,” the BBB president noted. “Scam artists are good at playing on the emotions.”

To protect yourself from springtime scammers, the BBB being aware of what scammers want:

  • They want personal information – Never give your personal or financial information to someone who calls you unexpectedly. If someone claims to be from a government agency or organization, find the number of the agency yourself and call to verify their claims. If you have already given someone your financial information, call your bank or credit card company immediately to stop any transaction.
  • They want you to send money right away – If someone calls and asks you to wire money via MoneyGram or Western Union or buy a prepaid debit card such as Green Dot, hang up. That’s a sign of a scam.
  • They keep talking – The more questions they ask, the more likely they are to get personal information from you. If someone won’t take no for an answer, just hang up.
  • They’re threatening you – Government agencies won’t call and threaten to arrest you. Debt collectors can’t threaten you. If a caller starts threatening you, hang up. If you’re concerned about your safety, call your local police department.
  • They want you to make a decision fast. — This should be a clear warning sign. Always check out a business with the BBB at www.bbb.org/chicago

For more tips on scams, visit www.bbb.org, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

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Welcome to CopyLine Magazine! The first issue of CopyLine Magazine was published in November, 1990, by Editor & Publisher Juanita Bratcher. CopyLine’s main focus is on the political arena – to inform our readers and analyze many of the pressing issues of the day - controversial or otherwise. Our objectives are clear – to keep you abreast of political happenings and maneuvering in the political arena, by reporting and providing provocative commentaries on various issues. For more about CopyLine Magazine, CopyLine Blog, and CopyLine Television/Video, please visit juanitabratcher.com, copylinemagazine.com, and oneononetelevision.com. Bratcher has been a News/Reporter, Author, Publisher, and Journalist for 33 years. She is the author of six books, including “Harold: The Making of a Big City Mayor” (Harold Washington), Chicago’s first African-American mayor; and “Beyond the Boardroom: Empowering a New Generation of Leaders,” about John Herman Stroger, Jr., the first African-American elected President of the Cook County Board. Bratcher is also a Poet/Songwriter, with 17 records – produced by HillTop Records of Hollywood, California. Juanita Bratcher Publisher

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