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Scams heat up in summer, Better Business Bureau warns

BBB’s Kitt Letcher discusses most common seasonal scams, from fake time-share rentals to employment-related scams.
Oklahoman Published: July 1, 2014

Q&A with Kitt Letcher

Summer means time for scams,

Better Business Bureau chief says

Q: What kinds of scams pop up most often during summer?

A: Fake travel agents and websites offering too-good-to-be true deals, fake timeshare rentals or bogus name-brand vacations are common. Many Oklahomans also make home repairs during the summer, so be aware of fraudulent contractors. Concerts and 5k charity runs take place in warmer months, so be aware of fake tickets and verify any charity before making a donation. Finally, many high school and college students will be looking for summer jobs, and employment scams are one of the biggest the BBB sees during this time. With summer or part-time positions, make sure you don’t pay anything upfront for training, uniforms, background checks, etc.

Q: How can consumers easily verify a company’s authenticity?

A: Consumers can always check with BBB by calling or visiting our website for more information. In addition, businesses have to register with the secretary of state, so that’s one way to test their legitimacy. When supporting a charity, make sure the organization has a 501(c)(3) designation, signifying the charity isn’t organized or operated for the benefit of private interests. Consumers also can look at an organization’s 990 form, which will detail how much it is investing in its mission versus fundraising and administrative costs.

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by Paula Burkes
A 1981 journalism graduate of Oklahoma State University, Paula Burkes has more than 30 years experience writing and editing award-winning material for newspapers and healthcare, educational and telecommunications institutions in Tulsa, Oklahoma...
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