BBB, Western Union Team Up to Prevent Scams

Nov 8, 2012 17:23:07Posted by John Skorick, MyAKA Founder & CEO

BBB, Western Union Team Up to Prevent Scams

A new website from the Better Business Bureau (BBB) aims to help consumers who are worried about protecting online privacy. The group teamed up with Western Union to create the BBB Scam Stopper website, an educational campaign that highlights common ways fraudsters target consumers, reports the Houston Chronicle.

Both companies have worked for years to protect consumers from scams. Western Union trains its agents to detect and report fraud among their customers, while the BBB carries out investigations on scams and tracks reports of common theft methods.

At the website, you can look at top scams, learn more about the "science of scams," and figure out what type of people are vulnerable to identity theft. There's also a page individuals can use to report an issue if they think they've been a victim of cyber crime.

There are several methods scammers use to get into the pockets of consumers. One common technique is to build a relationship with the consumer and earn their trust, the website reports. This type of scam is commonly seen on social media or online dating sites, which is why users who enjoy these services must take extra caution to avoid internet privacy issues.

Con artists can also use victims' emotions to access their personal information. The BBB says scam artists will sometimes seek out people who are intrigued by the idea of "get rich quick schemes" and exploit their impulsive nature by offering a less-than-trustworthy way to make cash. A good rule of thumb is, if the deal sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

There are some ways you can prevent fraud before it starts, the website reports. Taking steps like signing up for the "Do Not Call List" or doing research into questionable business offers or sales pitches can help keep your internet security intact.

Setting up a virtual phone number, which you can use when doing business on websites like Craigslist, can also keep your true phone number from falling into the wrong hands.

Remember that scams can crop up in various ways - online, on the phone, in the mail or even in person. The best method of protection is to be vigilant and discreet, especially when dealing with personal information and finances.