Better Business Bureau: Beware of phishing scams

By Tracy Bracy
June 2, 2014 at 1:02 a.m.

By Tracy Bracy

The Internet Crime Complaint Center is reporting a scam by crooks who pretend to be with your telecommunications carrier.

Scammers use a phishing attack, hoping to trick you into entering account information so they can steal your account and make purchases. In order to avoid falling victim to phishing attacks, the Better Business Bureau recommends you never reply to unsolicited phone messages or click links provided in an email or text message.

Even if the message appears to be from a trusted source, it could be an attempt to get your personal information or download malware to your computer. Do not provide or confirm any banking or personal information over the phone until you have confirmed the legitimacy of the call.

Bridal Expo

Planning a wedding can become complicated quickly with various vendors, logistics, budget and perfecting plans. A bridal expo can be one-stop shop to find everything a bride is looking for.

Every year, the bureau receives hundreds of complaints against wedding services and suppliers. Most complaints are about contract disputes and failure on the part of the vendor to provide the agreed upon services.

With such an important day, the bureau encourages couples to take their time and do their research. To safely navigate a bridal expo, remember to do your homework before signing anything, get all promises in writing and bring along someone you trust.

To find local accredited bridal businesses in your area, visit

Vacation pet care

You might be excited about your vacation, but finding reliable care can be difficult. The bureau advises pet owners looking to board their pets to plan accordingly and thoroughly research local kennels. Visit to view a list of Accredited Businesses. Then, be sure to personally visit the facility. Check for cleanliness and note overall safety of the kennel and cages.

Some kennels let animals play together while others keep them separate at all times. Make sure the facility requires all entering pets have proof of immunization.

Also, ask about its policies regarding flea and tick control. Verify if contract includes a feeding and exercise schedule as well as pick-up and drop-off hours.

Storage units

If you're planning to rent a storage unit to empty an overflowing garage, stash furnishings while moving or remodeling,or store business supplies for future use, the Better Business Bureau recommends researching storage facilities prior to handing over your precious belongings.

Research any storage facility at Look at the business' Business Review to check for any past history of complaints and how the company addressed those complaints.

Also, obtain written cost estimates from at least three facilities. Costs to consider include the monthly rental fee; storage preparation, padding, packing or transportation fees; and fees for extra options such as electricity, pest control and insurance. Get everything in writing. Terms should be clearly listed. Find more advice at

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



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