Better Business Bureau: Don't get sidelined with fake Super Bowl tickets
Ticket resellers are already busy swinging deals with anyone willing to buy seats for the big game. Some are offering tickets for as much as $14,000.
In the weeks leading up to the Super Bowl, ticket seekers will be rushing to online classifieds looking for private dealers willing to sell valuable tickets.
The Better Business Bureau advises consumers to use reliable and verifiable ticket sellers and re-sellers that hold vendors responsible for ticket authenticity.
Never wire funds. Use credit cards online and dispute the charges if tickets don't arrive or turn out to be fakes. Avoid sellers who fail to provide contact information or prefer to conduct transactions privately.
Job hunters, avoid getting scammed this year
If your resolution is to find a job this year, Better Business Bureau has some advice to keep you from getting ripped off. Beware of any job offer, work-at-home scheme or business opportunity that promises big money for little work and no experience.
Be especially careful when seeking employment through online classified sites. Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
Better Business Bureau advises consumers about some of the more common online job scams
The payment-forwarding or payment-transfer scams: The con artist pretends to be an employer. He uses a job ad or information from a resume posted online to convince the job seeker that he is a legitimate employer. Once he gains the victim's trust, he uses one of several ploys to request the job seeker's bank account number. He may tell the job seeker he needs it to deliver his/her paycheck by direct deposit.
The job seeker, as part of their pay, is instructed to keep a small percentage of the money (which can total thousands of dollars) as payment. The money the victim transfers has invariably been stolen, so the job candidate ends up committing theft and wire fraud.
The "personal" invitation: This job scammer sends mass emails to long lists of recipients. The email claims to have seen your resume on the Internet, notes that your skills match the requirements for their job and invites you to complete an online job application. Or the email may state that it is in response to the resume you submitted for a job opening. Contact the company via telephone to check it out.
The ID verification scenario: The scam artist will say the business needs to scan your driver's license, passport or other means of identification to verify your identity. Or the scammer claims to need your bank account or credit card numbers to run a credit check before proceeding with the job application process. Other red flags are requests for your mother's maiden name, your date of birth or your Social Security number.
Opportunities abroad: High-paid job opportunities overseas for people who lack significant experience in a particular field are virtually nonexistent. Legitimate businesses seeking to fill jobs at locations outside the U.S. will not ask for money up front, use post office boxes instead of office addresses, make promises of employment and guarantees of refunds or charge fees for giving you a job lead.
Tracy Bracy is the regional director of the Better Business Bureau for Corpus Christi/Victoria. Contact her by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.