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Better Business Bureau: Ask for receipts when shopping, shipping online for Mother's Day

By Victoria Advocate
May 5, 2014 at 12:05 a.m.


By Tracy Bracy

Mother's Day is coming up, and whether you are ordering flowers, shopping for custom jewelry or arranging a special spa day, the Better Business Bureau wants you to be a smart consumer.

When finalizing your Mother's Day gifts or shopping online, the bureau recommends doing your homework.

Before making a dinner reservation, ordering flowers, jewelry or any other gifts for Mother's Day, check out the company's Better Business Bureau Business Review on BBB.org. Ask the company about their guarantees.

It's always good to pay with a credit card for added protection on your purchase. Request a written receipt for the order confirmation, as well as shipping and delivery information. You can find Central Texas Better Business Bureau on Facebook to find more helpful consumer tips and alerts.

AOL confirms mail service has been spoofed

AOL Mail is being spoofed, and some users' AOL email addresses are apparently being used in connection with messages that contain a link in them which could lead to malware, viruses or phishing attacks. It is unknown how widespread the issue is. AOL is assuring its users that the company is taking the necessary safety and security measures to resolve the issue and keep users' accounts running smoothly and securely.

AOL is recommending that users check the email in their sent folder to see if there has been mail sent unknowingly. Regardless of the findings, users should change their passwords and report any questions to the official AOL Mail Help Twitter page, which AOL has been using to respond to users' tweets during business hours. AOL is a Better Business Bureau National Partner.

Internet Explorer browser puts computers at risk

A vulnerability in Microsoft's popular Internet Explorer web browser can allow a remote, unauthorized attack on users' computers. The U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team, a division of the Department of Homeland Security, is urging computer users to employ Microsoft's Enhanced Mitigation Experience Toolkit if possible or temporarily switch to a different browser until an official update is made available.

The vulnerability can allow remote attackers to install code on a user's computer without authorization, which puts your computer at risk. The Better Business Bureau recommends users temporarily switch to a different web browser, such as Google's Chrome or Mozilla's Firefox. For more tips you can trust, visit BBB.org, and for the latest, check our blog at Watchyourbuck.com.

National Moving Month

May is National Moving Month, which kicks off the busiest time of year for Americans changing residencies. It also means unlicensed movers and dishonest scammers are waiting to take advantage of unwary consumers. Better Business Bureau is again joining with the American Moving and Storage Association to provide important tips on how to avoid scams and have a safe, secure move.

In 2013, the bureau received more than 1.7 million moving-related inquiries from American consumers looking for movers and received more than 9,300 complaints against movers in the U.S.

Complaints included damaged or missing items, big price increases over originally quoted estimates, late deliveries and goods being held "hostage" for additional, often disputed, payments.

To find a reliable moving company, be sure to research the company thoroughly. Get at least three written in-home estimates. Also, consider accepting full value protection. It may cost a few dollars more, but it can provide some peace of mind and eliminate headaches after your move.

Consumers can check bbb.org for free Better Business Bureau Business Reviews on more than 17,000 companies that provide moving-related services, or for interstate moves, turn to moving.org to find an AMSA-certified ProMover.

Tracy Bracy is the regional director of the Better Business Bureau for Corpus Christi/Victoria. Contact her by e-mail at info@corpuschristi.bbb.org.

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