Better Business Bureau:Superbowl tickets
Feb. 3, 2012 at midnight
Updated Feb. 2, 2012 at 8:03 p.m.
By Alan Bligh
The New England Patriots and the New York Giants will compete for the title of National Football League champion.
Indianapolis is expecting close to 150,000 visitors for the Super Bowl. We remind consumers to use caution when purchasing tickets, travel packages or lodging for the big game.
Most Super Bowl tickets are being advertised starting anywhere from $2,000-$15,000. Beware of Craigslist-type ads for tickets or lodging.
Typically, an ad will say that there has been a family emergency or a safari to Africa and the seller doesn't need the tickets or the seller may claim he has a condo that can be leased while he is out of the country - just wire in a $1,000 deposit.
Believe me, this is really a quick way to lose money.
Sewer line coverage option
We have received quite a few phone calls from consumers looking for more information about mail solicitations regarding sewer line coverage for their home.
These promotional letters are coming from multiple companies informing consumers that the area from their home to their property line is their responsibility should the line clog or break.
This is true and not a scam.
For a monthly fee, the companies are offering coverage to save on the cost of repairs. The most important thing for you to remember, if you receive a similar mailing, is that the coverage offered by these companies is optional.
It is up to you to decide if the coverage is valuable to you as a home owner. But first review your homeowner's insurance policy to see if sewer line coverage is already provided. Note also that some of these solicitations try to appear official, coming from the county, the state, etc.
If you get one of these, please send it to me.
More trouble for home owners
Disreputable loan modification companies often prey on those already down on their luck. Some companies, like National Auditing, offer forensic audits, which the Federal Trade Commission has warned does not help lower payments.
Consumers complain National Auditing promises a loan modification, but only performs an audit, then becomes difficult to contact.
Other questionable companies, like Summit Legal Group, offer loan modification services for an up-front fee. Consumers claim Summit Legal Group takes an up-front fee, but doesn't do anything and sometimes calls back asking for more money.
Legitimate loan modifications services must be licensed and generally do not demand an up-front fee.
Both of these companies have BBB ratings of F. Remember, if you have a problem with your mortgage counselor, go to a federally approved Housing and Urban Development counselor for advice.
We cannot end our column without yet another story of a new phishing scam.
A fake Western Union notice is hitting inboxes around the world and scaring people into following the offered link to a phishing page.
The email says, "Failure in updating your profile will result in limiting your account access."
Users who fall for the trick are taken to a login page mimicking the Western Union one.
Once they have entered the login credentials and pressed the "Sign In" button, they are asked to share information such as date of birth and answers to typical security questions such as their mother's maiden name or favorite pet's name.
Once they have this information, the scammers can then login to the victim's real Western Union account and use it for illegal purposes, such as money laundering.
Alan Bligh is the executive director of the Better Business Bureau in Corpus Christi. Contact him by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.