Better Business Bureau: Be cautious when registering for the latest 'fun runs'
By By Tracy Bracy
July 28, 2014 at 2:28 a.m.
The Better Business Bureau has been hearing lots of complaints about various fun runs that have been canceled with short notice, often with no refunds. If you are thinking about participating in a fun run, be sure to check out the company's business review and search online for additional information before signing up.
Also, be sure you understand the terms and conditions. In some cases, promoters say on their websites that they don't offer refunds, so read the fine print. It may be a good idea to contact the park or venue to confirm that the event is scheduled. Most fun runs are for-profit, but if the promoters claim a portion of the proceeds will go to charity, check it out on give.org to make sure it's a trustworthy charity.
Don't get bugged by pests this summer
Warmer temperatures and rainy weather are bringing out various insects you probably don't want in or around your home, especially since Texas is a state at-risk of mosquito-borne viruses like West Nile and chikungunya.
The Texas Department of State Health Services has already confirmed the state's five cases of chikungunya, a viral disease that can cause fever and severe joint pain, and one case of West Nile fever. The bureau generally sees an increase in consumer inquiries for pest control businesses during summer months as people try to prevent invasive and potentially harmful bugs. The bureau encourages homeowners to do their homework and check any pest control companies with the bureau's Business Review at bbb.org before signing a contract.
Businesses beware of copycat scammers
The bureau has been receiving reports from businesses that received a type of scam phone call we've reported on in the past. The scammer falsely claimed to be with bureau, asked the business for information about any plans to move their business and offered to help them find a location. A quick web search for the phone number found reports of similar calls: People asking businesses about plans to move.
The bureau doesn't make calls like that. We might sometimes call to update or verify an address, but we do not ask companies if they are planning to move. If you are suspicious of the caller, hang up. Don't give out personal or banking information to unknown sources. Also, contact your local bureau and report the incident.
Don't let paperless receipts put your information at risk
Some retailers now offer to send your receipt via email. While this might be a convenient alternative to paper receipts, the bureau would like to warn you to keep your identity safe in the process. Ask how the business plans to use your information. Now that the business has your email address, it's possible you'll start receiving coupons, newsletters and other promotional emails from it.
If the business plans to sell or share your information, you could start receiving unsolicited emails. Make sure your antivirus software is up to date. Protect yourself from unsolicited emails that could contain malware. Spammers feed off of online shoppers who fail to update their antivirus software. Stay informed about the latest scams by visiting watchyourbuck.com.
Tracy Bracy is the regional director of the Better Business Bureau for Corpus Christi/Victoria. Contact her by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.