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BBB Trends: Be aware of some common summertime scams — and please avoid them; here are some tips

By Sandra Guile
Better Business Bureau

Before stowing the winter coat and slathering on the sunscreen, read up about some common summertime scams, and be on the watch for those that might be targeting you.

Concert and Festival Tickets

Food, fun and music just go together during the summer months. If you haven’t already, you’ll be seeing plenty of postings for food, art and music events on various social media sites or traditional media outlets. Before using your credit card to buy tickets, make certain the date, time and location of the event are legit by researching the venue advertising it. Search online for the name of the festival and look for a match between the name and the website, as well as a contact phone number, physical address and email address.

Know Who’s Knocking

Warmer weather brings everyone outdoors, including door-to-door salesmen.

Although some companies use legitimate neighborhood sales folks, too many come with questionable intent.

If someone shows up at your doorstep without you having prior requested an appointment, pushes for personal information or is trying to sell a product or service a little too aggressively, remember that you don’t have to do anything but close the door. Once safely inside, contact law enforcement or your local city or township to report the intrusion.

Cheap Vacations

School’s out! For many families, that translates to vacation time. Throughout the year, fraudulent travel agents and scam sites will pop up offering cut-rate vacation discounts.

One common red flags on sites like these is the lack of a physical address or phone number. Some can be spotted simply by observing a suspicious number of spelling and grammar errors. But the biggest indication is almost always that the price just seems too good to be true — especially if it’s for what appears to be an exotic or exclusive resort.

Now Hiring – or Are They?

A seasonal job can be a great way for high school and college students to earn some extra money. But don’t let a seasonal job search end in disaster. Know how to discern if potential employers are out to steal your money or identity.

If the alleged hiring manager is asking for upfront fees for training materials or a background check, that’s the first red flag that something is amiss. Other hints that the posting might not be the real deal is the job description is incomplete, or the employer, when contacted, is evasive on the exact terms of employment.

If any of these scenarios happen to you, report it to scamtracker.org. Be safe, be smart, and have a great summer!

Sandra Guile is the Public Relations Specialist for BBB. She promotes BBB’s message of marketplace ethics through public speaking engagements, presentations, media relations, press releases, web content, and other written materials. Your BBB is located at 1 East 4th Street Suite 600 Cincinnati, Ohio 45202 – to reach the office, call (513) 421-3015.

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