It’s not easy being a consumer these days. You have got to be on your toes at all times with scammers coming at you through text, email, social media, phone calls, and door knocks.
It is National Consumer Protection Week and the Better Business Bureau is teaming up with the Federal Trade Commission to help people understand their consumer rights and avoid fraud and scams.
According to the latest data from the FTC, people reported losing $8.8 billion to scammers in 2022 and impersonation scams were the top fraud, again.
Impersonation scams come in many varieties but work the same way.
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That’s when a scammer pretends to be someone you trust or an organization you trust to convince you to send them money, like in bank scams, IRS and Medicare scams, romance and grandparent scams.
“The most important thing to take away from Consumer Protection Week, in my opinion, is the importance of safeguarding your personal and financial information. That is the end goal of all these scams,” said Paul Fleming of the Better Business Bureau. “I would encourage people to safeguard your different devices, your chrome book, laptop, mac computer, your work computers, your home computers, your cell phones. Take the time to update them, make sure they're up to date with all the appropriate software... Change your passwords. Oftentimes people use the same password for every account, including your bank accounts. Take time to update those. It's a great kind of almost spring reset, if you will.”
When it comes to scams, one of the best things you can do to protect yourself is to read up on all the different variations of them that are out there and how they work.
Responding to your consumer needs and connecting you to your money.
When people are familiar with scams, they are much less likely to lose money.
You can get more information on scams, how to report them and Consumer Protection Week events from the FTC here and the BBB here.
Have a consumer complaint? Reach out to the NBC10 Boston Responds team online or call 1-888-521-NEWS.