Beware: Top Summer Scams According to the Better Business Bureau

Posted on 07/24/2012

Peaches aren’t the only things in season during summer. It seems to be a particular hot time of year for scammers looking to make a quick buck off of unsuspecting consumers. The Better Business Bureau wants you to know about several summer scams.

Travel Scams Frugal travelers trying to save money on summer vacation are targets for certain scams. If a too-good-to-be-true offer arrives unexpectedly in your mailbox, over the phone or in your email inbox beware. According to the Better Business Bureau these scams may be under the disguise of a prize and in order to claim your free trip you’ll have to call a phone number. Another travel scam includes an offer for a travel club membership, allegedly worth thousands of dollars.

Summer Job Scams
Students and those looking for temporary work are the intended targets of summer job scams. The Better Business Bureau says that employment opportunity could be a scam if they offer to pay you a lot of money for jobs that don’t seem very difficult. Also if you get a job offer from a stranger or you’re asked to pay to be part of a new business opportunity, there’s a good chance you could be face-to-face with a scam.

Financial Aid Scams
Students looking to defray college costs may be working on applying for loans and scholarships this summer. But the Better Business Bureau says parents and students need to be wary of websites, seminars or other schemes that make promises of scholarships, grants or financial aid packages to those who pay an upfront fee.

Time Share Scams
If you’re looking to sell your timeshare this summer, the BBB warns of companies swindling consumers out of cash with false promises. The BBB says two companies in particular—Financial Enterprises III and Financial Advantage Resources— are known for taking consumers’ money and offering little in return. To avoid getting scammed use a company that is accredited by the BBB and find out what fees you’ll face up front.

Summer Disaster Scams
Whether it’s a wild fire, tornado or hurricane, there are plenty of natural disasters striking during the summer. The Better Business Bureau says crooks use these as opportunities to make quick cash from concerned citizens. During the recent Colorado wild fires the BBB says people received automated phone calls from bogus organizations looking for donations. Make sure you’re giving to a reputable non-profit that really is helping victims otherwise you could become a victim yourself.

By Alison Storm

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