Better Business Bureau: Beware of celebrity-based scams

By Alan Bligh
Sept. 15, 2012 at 4:15 a.m.

Let us start with a report on the tooth fairy. On the average, kids found $3 per tooth under their pillows this year, up 15 percent from last year, according to a survey from Visa. Some received as much as $20 per tooth.

The Tooth Fairy is not to be taken lightly. Child psychologists warn: that excessive monetary rewards can distort a child's perception of money.

Nobody wants to be the parent whose child is "the talk at recess," because of a frugal Tooth Fairy.

To help parents calculate the going rate for teeth, Visa has launched an app for iPhone and iPad and a calculator on its Facebook page. The app uses the survey's data to determine the average payoff a child can expect based on a parent's gender, education, location, age and income.

Don't you just love technology? Things used to be so simple. Now even the tooth fairy is complicated.

Most Dangerous Celebrities

Celebrities are all the rage these days. And while searching for your favorite celeb on the Internet may be your favorite pastime, it could also give you a virus-ridden computer. McAfee just revealed its "MacAfee Most Dangerous Celebrities" study, announcing the top 10 most dangerous celebrities to search for on the Internet. Ranked in order, here are the top 10 most dangerous celebrities:

1. Emma Watson

2. Jessica Biel

3. Eva Mendes

4. Selena Gomez

5. Halle Berry

6. Megan Fox

7. Shakira

8. Cameron Diaz

9. Salma Hayek

10. Sofia Vergara

Cybercriminals tend to attach themselves to the latest trends. These criminals use the names of popular celebrities to lure victims to visit sites or to click on photos that are ridden with malicious software. This software is designed to steal your personal information, such as passwords, banking information and any other personally identifying information.

Saving someone from a fall

Some people think that if they trip and fall in a business it will result in an easy lawsuit. Well, it's not that easy.

As a general rule, according to the Houston-based Center for Consumer Law, a business is not liable for a slip and fall injury simply because it owns the property where the injury occurred.

For the business to be responsible, the injured person must show the business was "negligent" and that is why the injury happened.

For example, if the business knew there was a slippery spot on the floor and did not take reasonable steps to clean it up, it would be liable to a customer who was injured as a result of its negligence.

If you do spot water on the floor, let the store employees know. You may be saving someone from a fall.

Check for investment scams

Studies show that investment scams are on the rise over the past decade. Baby boomers in particularly are more vulnerable to such schemes, as many are now managing their own retirement account. Before you invest your earnings, it is important to check for scams and verify credibility of the investment firm. Research the company, reach out to local investment firms and advisers, and talk to other investors. Be extremely skeptical if the person promoting the deal says, "Don't tell anyone else about this special deal."

Remember, the more knowledgeable you are when making investments, the less likely you are to become a victim. And when making an investment there's no urgency to race against the clock - take your time and make an informed decision.

Alan Bligh is the executive director of the Better Business Bureau in Corpus Christi. Contact him by e-mail at



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