With warmer weather comes a plethora of summer related scams. The Better Business Bureau® of Central Oklahoma is reaching out to Oklahoma consumers and reminding them of a couple ways to protect themselves. Here a couple of the most common summer scams BBB encounters every year and ways to avoid them:
Vacation Scams. Many scammers seek to take advantage of the large amount of vacationers during the summer months through fake travel agencies, fake time share rentals, or bogus name-brand vacations with too-good-to-be-true deals.
How to avoid it: If you’re planning a vacation this summer, it’s important to start your search with BBB so you can have reassurance that the company your using is legitimate and won’t try and cheat you out of any money. It’s also crucial to make sure you get any and all receipts from the deal and to bring those receipts with you on your vacation, just in case.
Home Repair Scams. Summer is a fairly regular time for home remodeling and/or repairs. Scammers are aware of this, and they’ll use it to take advantage of innocent consumers. Be wary of contractors that show up unannounced at your door. Always make sure you do your research into any company you’re getting your repairs through, and you should never feel pressured into an “on-the-spot” type decision. If you feel pushed into a situation like that, that’s a large red flag.
How to avoid it: When a decision is made, make sure to have everything in writing, understand a contract’s fine print, and never pay more than 1/3 upfront before the actual work is completed.
Employment Scams. Many high school and young college students will be looking for summer jobs, and employment scams are one of the biggest the BBB sees during this time. With summer or part time positions, make sure you (or your child) isn’t having to pay for training, uniforms, or background checks out of their own pocket.
How to avoid it: Be sure to check with BBB to make sure that wherever you find work is a reputable company and always use a trusted job search firm, if necessary.
Concert Ticket Scams. This may sound surprising, but BBB’s across the United States receive complaints each summer from consumers who purchase event tickets or passes only to receive forgeries, fakes, or nothing at all.
How to avoid it: Considering that most reputable ticket vendors now allow consumers to print tickets from their personal computers, it’s smart to be wary of sellers who only accept cash or prepaid cards. You should also try and avoid any vendor or seller who pressures you into acting/purchasing quickly. Again, you can always check with BBB to ensure that your vendor is a reputable business.
Contributed by Cade Snowden, Marketing and Community Outreach Intern
Cade Snowden is a senior studying business Marketing and Finance at the University of Oklahoma. He is a resident of Allen, Texas, and a graduate of Allen High School. He enjoys writing about business tips, industry reports, and watching his favorite television show: Game of Thrones.