Summer scams to watch out for - KXLT - Fox 47 Rochester MN News, Weather, Sports #rochmn

Summer scams to watch out for

 BURNSVILLE, Minn. (FOX 47) - Keep your friends and family safe by looking out for these scams that are cropping up across Minnesota this summer. Dan Hendrickson from the Better Business Bureau explained which red flags to watch for.

Pushy sales people are more prevalent in the summer months. "Right now we have alarm system sales people, we have asphalt sales people, magazine sales people especially, knocking on doors and again some of these are perfectly legitimate, they work for good companies they run a good business and provide a good service. Unfortunately there are some that are just trying to make a quick dollar, get a signed agreement, make some money and move on to the next town or even state. You really have to watch yourself, research companies, and don't be rushed into making a quick decision because those are the decisions that you'll later regret. I think high pressure sales tactics - if they're being kind of vague about what the service is or when they'll provide it they wont give you identification right there it's cause for concern. Legitimate [sales] people will give you an ID and they'll encourage you to contact the company. Even watch out for anything like even them shifting their weight or them looking around like 'let's get this, let's do this quickly,' really watch their body language that'll tell you a lot I think," said Hendrickson.

Travel scams are prevalent during the summer. "The important thing to know is there are fake websites, and they're going to sound really good and they're going to ask for a credit card number, so you might think, 'Wow, this is my time I got this great deal this is a great website,' but many times these website prove to be fake and people give out their credit card number and they don't really know what will happen to it. That becomes a big problem. Also people this time of year get vouchers. That look like they're for airline tickets, but the airlines on them aren't real ones, they look like ones you know but they're just a little bit different. So that tells you this is a problem and we've found that this leads to instances where people pay hundreds or even thousands of dollars for trips that are supposed to be free, and that's just the entry fee. So if you get these vouchers in the mail for what looks like might be a free airline ticket, do your research. It's really important, because again these vouchers have fooled a lot of people and they may be these vacation transaction agreements that people don't really understand and it may last them many years and cost them thousands of dollars. So, it's really important to be clear about what you have in your hands and research it and always get all the details," explained Hendrickson.

Spring and summer months are popular times to move, but Hendrickson said that can put some people at risk for moving scams. " There are a lot of great movers out there who work for reputable companies," said Hendrickson, but some are not. "In some cases over the years the BBB has seen people actually had their belongings ransomed to them. The mover will say, 'Okay, if you want your things back you'll have to pay this fee' and it can be really outrageous and the people say, 'Well, no,' and the movers say 'That's fine we'll just keep your stuff.' Obviously that's not a position you want to find yourself in so it's good to find a reputable mover, get everything in writing, and have them come to your house or apartment and have them give you an estimate on sight. If they give you an estimate over the phone it's not going to be binding and how can they give you a real estimate if they haven't seen your living arrangement or how many things you have. So good things to keep in mind are reputable companies and having them do an on sight estimate."

Hendrickson also warned to be careful when you make time to see your favorite performer in concert. "Summer is concert season of course, lots of summer concerts, and these days with the internet people can actually print their tickets at home which is very handy for people and for scammers. We've heard of many cases where scammers have purchased tickets, printed them out, made multiple copies, and sold them over and over and over and over, so the first person to the concert gets in. Everybody after that is told that the ticket has been redeemed and they don't get in. So that's a bad spot to be in. Watch out for deals online that say, 'I just had this bad thing happen I can't go to the concert so I just want to get some money back,' and ask for cash and especially ask you to wire money. We always say never wire money to someone you don't know, so many times those are fraudulent offers and the money you wire away is going to be gone and you won't get what you're supposedly paying for," according to Hendrickson.

Another summer scam to watch for, though it's less prevalent this late in the summer, is fake job offers. If something sounds too good to be true, like working from home to make good money with no experience necessary -  Hendrickson warned it might not be worth getting involved in. "You think 'Wow, this is terrific,' but you always have to have that warning bell there that says wait a minute there's  got to be more to this and nine times out of ten or even 99 times out of 100, you're going to find out there is more to it."

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