BBB offers tips to keep you safe from fall scams

Published: Oct. 6, 2022 at 1:38 AM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Thieves often use the changing seasons to help them come up with ways to take your money, and fall is no different.

And the Better Business Bureau wants to protect you from the latest schemes.

From home improvement to Medicare enrollment scams, fraudsters are always looking for ways to con you out of your money, but the BBB has some tips to keep you safe.

“The potential for getting suckered by a sub-standard business… that exists all throughout the year, and fall, it’s no exception,” said Communications Manager for the BBB, Alex Derencz.

The BBB says scammers see this time of year as a prime opportunity to rip-off customers through home improvement projects like roof repairs, chimney sweeps, furnace checks.

“And that is where hiring a trustworthy and vetted business is so important. You want to be able to relax knowing that the job is in their hands, so that’s where things such as doing your research, looking them up on our website so you can see any complaint history. You can see what other customers have said,” Derencz advised.

He also recommends getting everything in writing before any work on your home starts.

But he’s also warning people about Medicare and student loan forgiveness scams— as the time to sign-up for both programs starts soon.

He said scammers often pose as government officials and love to capitalize on anything that could be confusing or time sensitive.

“Be very cautious of those out of the blue communications. They’re not going to contact you unless you’re already enrolled, or unless you contact them to get back in touch with you. If they get in touch with you and they’re wanting some form of payment, that right there, big red flag, that is a scam, immediately cut off communication with them,” Derencz said.

The BBB is also warning people to keep sensitive information like social security numbers and credit card information close to the vest.

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