All posts tagged consumer protection

National Consumer Protection Week Contest 2015 – Friday!

National Consumer Protection Week Contest 2015 – Friday!

It’s National Consumer Protection Week! Direct Selling Association member companies of the direct selling industry have long been consumer protection supporters, which is why we’re excited to promote this important event each year. You can learn more about avoiding fraud and scams in the marketplace on our National Consumer Protection Week 2015 page here. And tell your friends on social media, too, by using the hashtag #NCPW2015.

To help you learn a bit more about how the direct selling industry protects consumers and consultants, we’re having a contest! Visit our site each day this week to enter to win a $50 Visa Gift Card! We’re giving one away each day this week, Monday – Friday, March 2-6, 2015.

To enter, answer the question below. We’ll choose one correct answer at random to win. Good luck!

UPDATE: Congratulations to Carrie, our winner for Friday!

National Consumer Protection Week Contest 2015 – Thursday!

National Consumer Protection Week Contest 2015 – Thursday!

It’s National Consumer Protection Week! Direct Selling Association member companies of the direct selling industry have long been consumer protection supporters, which is why we’re excited to promote this important event each year. You can learn more about avoiding fraud and scams in the marketplace on our National Consumer Protection Week 2015 page here. And tell your friends on social media, too, by using the hashtag #NCPW2015.

To help you learn a bit more about how the direct selling industry protects consumers and consultants, we’re having a contest! Visit our site each day this week to enter to win a $50 Visa Gift Card! We’re giving one away each day this week, Monday – Friday, March 2-6, 2015.

To enter, answer the question below. We’ll choose one correct answer at random to win. Good luck!

UPDATE: Congratulations to Tracy Wolski, our winner for Thursday!

National Consumer Protection Week Contest 2015 – Wednesday!

National Consumer Protection Week Contest 2015 – Wednesday!

It’s National Consumer Protection Week! Direct Selling Association member companies of the direct selling industry have long been consumer protection supporters, which is why we’re excited to promote this important event each year. You can learn more about avoiding fraud and scams in the marketplace on our National Consumer Protection Week 2015 page here. And tell your friends on social media, too, by using the hashtag #NCPW2015.

To help you learn a bit more about how the direct selling industry protects consumers and consultants, we’re having a contest! Visit our site each day this week to enter to win a $50 Visa Gift Card! We’re giving one away each day this week, Monday – Friday, March 2-6, 2015.

To enter, answer the question below. We’ll choose one correct answer at random to win. Good luck!

UPDATE: Congratulations to Wednesday’s winner, Carmen M. Garrett!

National Consumer Protection Week Contest 2015 – Tuesday!

National Consumer Protection Week Contest 2015 – Tuesday!

It’s National Consumer Protection Week! Direct Selling Association member companies of the direct selling industry have long been consumer protection supporters, which is why we’re excited to promote this important event each year. You can learn more about avoiding fraud and scams in the marketplace on our National Consumer Protection Week 2015 page here. And tell your friends on social media, too, by using the hashtag #NCPW2015.

To help you learn a bit more about how the direct selling industry protects consumers and consultants, we’re having a contest! Visit our site each day this week to enter to win a $50 Visa Gift Card! We’re giving one away each day this week, Monday – Friday, March 2-6, 2015.

To enter, answer the question below. We’ll choose one correct answer at random to win. Good luck!

UPDATE : Congratulations to Tuesday’s winner, Jessyca Hovendick!

National Consumer Protection Week Contest 2015 – Monday!

National Consumer Protection Week Contest 2015 – Monday!

It’s National Consumer Protection Week! Direct Selling Association member companies of the direct selling industry have long been consumer protection supporters, which is why we’re excited to promote this important event each year. You can learn more about avoiding fraud and scams in the marketplace on our National Consumer Protection Week 2015 page here. And tell your friends on social media, too, by using the hashtag #NCPW2015.

To help you learn a bit more about how the direct selling industry protects consumers and consultants, we’re having a contest! Visit our site each day this week to enter to win a $50 Visa Gift Card! We’re giving one away each day this week, Monday – Friday, March 2-6, 2015.

To enter, answer the question below. We’ll choose one correct answer at random to win. Good luck!

UPDATE: Congratulations to Monday’s winner: Suzi Israel!

Twist on Check Scam Targets Direct Sales Reps

Twist on Check Scam Targets Direct Sales Reps

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By Emily Patterson

Reps for direct sales companies like Avon, Thirty-One Gifts and Mary Kay are finding themselves the targets of a new take on the classic check scam. Scammers pose as new customers and try to con consultants out of hundreds of dollars.

How the Scam Works:

You are a consultant for a direct sales company, and you receive an email or text message from a potential customer. The exact details of the situation vary. The “new customer” may simply request to purchase a few products, but some scammers provide an elaborate back story.  In one recent version, the scammer alleges to be working on a movie filmed nearby and urgently needs makeup for the actors.

The request seems like an easy sale, so you prepare the products and receipt. Then, your new “customer” sends you an urgent message. There was some mix up, and she/he accidentally sent a check for far more money than the purchase amount. The customer suggests that you fix the mistake by depositing the check, keeping the money for the purchase and wiring the remainder to someone else.

The stories given vary. Sometimes you are asked to wire money to a “doctor.” Other times, you are supposedly sending cash to the daughter’s wedding planner. No matter the tale, a few things are for sure. The check is a fake, and, if you withdraw money against it, you are out those funds.

Tips to Avoid Fake Check Scams:

Whether you are a professional direct sales consultant or simply selling a few items on Craigslist, check scams are common cons. Here are some tips:

  1. Be wary of checks received from unknown individuals: When selling to someone you don’t know, it is safer to accept cash or credit card payments.
  2. Do not accept overpayments: Don’t take checks for more than the sales price, no matter what convincing story the buyer tells you.
  3. Do not wire money to anyone you do not know: Wired money is extremely difficult to trace, and you will not be able to recover these funds. The same goes for pre-paid debit cards, a new favorite payment method for scammers.
  4. Confirm before you withdraw cash: A check can take several days to clear, and, until then, you are responsible for any funds withdrawn against it. To make sure the check cleared, call your bank… not the telephone number listed on the check.

For More Information

To find out more about scams, check out BBB Scam Stopper.

DSEF and the Council of Better Business Bureaus (CBBB) foster honest and responsive relationships between businesses and consumers—instilling consumer confidence and advancing a trustworthy marketplace for all.

About the Better Business Bureaus
As the leader in advancing marketplace trust, Better Business Bureau is an unbiased non-profit organization that sets and upholds high standards for fair and honest business behavior. Every year, more than 87 million consumers rely on BBB Business Reviews® and BBB Wise Giving Reports® to help them find trustworthy businesses and charities across North America. Visit www.bbb.org/us for more information.

DSEF & BBB: Back to School? Shop Smart!

DSEF & BBB: Back to School? Shop Smart!

back-to-school-150x150By Kelsey Owen

Getting ready to go back to school? Join the crowd! In 2012, $83.8 billion dollars were spent on back-to-school shopping in the U.S., according to the National Retail Federation. That breaks down to the average person spending around $688.62 on their children in grades K-12.

Of course, not everyone will spend that much, but before you dive into buying new clothes and supplies, check out these back-to-school budget tips from BBB:

Make a shopping list. Even if you don’t know the exact school supply list, you should get an idea of school clothing and other school needs. Make a list for each child, but start by “shopping at home” for items that you may already have left over from last year. For some items, it’s worth spending a bit more (a high quality backpack will last for years).

Create a budget. Do a quick price search online for the items on your list and add them all up. Be sure to clip coupons, and make note of discount codes and any cash-back or rebate programs. If you goal is to reduce spending, now is the time to decide how much you want to cut.

Set up email alerts at your favorite stores. Monitoring pricing early on is key to finding good deals on quality products. Many sites will have an informed community of savvy shoppers on their blog or in their forums who willingly share deals, exclusive coupons, rebates and insider information on where and when to find the best prices, popular models and links to helpful resources. These alerts will assure you don’t miss out on the hottest, and/or limited, opportunities.

Take advantage of discounts. Many stores offer student and teacher discounts on hot items like laptops and uniforms. Retailers will be trying to make room for fall fashion and the newest models, so there are incredible savings to be had on older items.

Shop tax-free. Some states offer a tax-free holiday specifically for the back-to-school shopping rush in August. Check out the “2013 State Sales Tax Holidays” list to see if your state offers any tax-free shopping deals.

 

DSEF and the Council of Better Business Bureaus (CBBB) foster honest and responsive relationships between businesses and consumers—instilling consumer confidence and advancing a trustworthy marketplace for all.

About the Better Business Bureaus
As the leader in advancing marketplace trust, Better Business Bureau is an unbiased non-profit organization that sets and upholds high standards for fair and honest business behavior. Every year, more than 87 million consumers rely on BBB Business Reviews® and BBB Wise Giving Reports® to help them find trustworthy businesses and charities across North America. Visit www.bbb.org/us for more information.

DSEF & BBB: Before You Sell Your Electronics, Safeguard Your Personal Information!

DSEF & BBB: Before You Sell Your Electronics, Safeguard Your Personal Information!

blue_with_website-225x30022By Jason Mcglone

The market for used and refurbished electronics is understandably huge; it’s often a really good way to get a gadget for less than full price.  What’s more, you can still stay up-to-date with the latest and greatest in tablets, cellphones and computers.

Whether you’re selling or buying used or refurbished electronics, you’ll want to be thoughtful when it comes to personal information.  It’s vital to safeguard your personal information and to be sensitive of others’, as well.  If you don’t you could risk embarrassment at best and identity theft at worst.

If you’re selling a phone or computer, BBB recommends that you be sure that you wipe all the personally identifying information from it before you ship it off to the person, or business, to which you sold it.  This should be a fairly simple task that almost any competent user can achieve.

If you’ve never attempted to wipe the personal information from an electronic device, or would like to have a resource on hand to walk you through it just in case, the blog Lifehacker has guides on how to wipe your smartphone and the best approach to tidying up your computer.

Should you be in the market for used or refurbished electronic equipment, you might consider wiping its information before you begin any heavy usage.

For more information about selling or buying used and refurbished electronics, see the “Technology” category on the BBB.org Blog.

DSEF and the Council of Better Business Bureaus (CBBB) foster honest and responsive relationships between businesses and consumers—instilling consumer confidence and advancing a trustworthy marketplace for all.

About the Better Business Bureaus
As the leader in advancing marketplace trust, Better Business Bureau is an unbiased non-profit organization that sets and upholds high standards for fair and honest business behavior. Every year, more than 87 million consumers rely on BBB Business Reviews® and BBB Wise Giving Reports® to help them find trustworthy businesses and charities across North America. Visit www.bbb.org/us for more information.

DSEF & BBB: Trick Your Brain Into Saving Money

DSEF & BBB: Trick Your Brain Into Saving Money

Close-up of human hand inserting two euro coin into piggy bankBy Kelsey Owen

Looking to save a little money? You may want to try “tricking your brain.” According to a new report from Chase Blueprint, a specific section of the human brain lights up when we face a choice, such as, say, spending money on something that we know we shouldn’t. The report goes on to say that, “Only 25% of us are born with the ‘good’ variant of that gene. Some people are simply better than others at self-control, and neuroscientific studies have shed light on why this is the case.”

While science (read: SCIENCE!) shows that our brains are more likely to choose the self-indulging choice, there are ways to “trick our brains” into being smarter about money. Not convinced? Lifehacker has put together a few scientifically proven strategies to be a better financial version of yourself than you ever thought possible.

Adopt a new mantra. For this exercise, you’ll be using the help of a fancy scientific term known as a “heuristic,” which is essentially a rule of thumb that you live by to make decision-making easier. You probably already have many money heuristics that you abide by every day—whether you’re conscious of them or not. If you have bad money habits that you’d like to improve—from getting zinged by bank fees to overspending on gifts—come up with a specific heuristic to help you combat each one. Psychologists have found that we tend to feel poorly about ourselves for breaking the rule, even if we created it. Weird, but helpful.

Make saving a no-brainer. In an experiment called Save More Tomorrow, employees were asked to save more for retirement by signing up for a 401(k), then voluntarily increasing contributions by a set amount every few months. The results? Over the course of 28 months, the average participant’s savings rate jumped from 3.5% to 11.6%. By having the money come directly out of their paychecks, before it hit their bank accounts, the participants never missed the money. Essentially, they bypassed the portion of their brains that loves temptation and activated the slow-thinking region that promotes self-control.

You, too, can apply this bit of trickery to any savings goal. Simply pick a start date, set calendar alerts for set times when you want to up your contributions, and then sit back and watch your balance grow. Certain banks and brokerages will even automate the process for you by letting you program a percentage amount by which you can increase your contributions over time.

Pick a plan and stick to it.  Have debt to pay off? There’s a way to outsmart your brain here too. Researchers chalk the success up to three factors: choosing a particular plan, committing to the idea of allocating a certain amount to repayment each month and engaging peer support (read: those telephone or email reminders from friends). Once again, effort trumped any underlying genetics.

Spend on your best self. To make your money behave the way you want it to, you need to first decide who you are and then make your budget obey that identity.  It can be hard to just “save” blindly or “not spend so much” when you don’t have a larger goal driving you. But if you’re someone who believes that providing for your children is important, you’ll be a lot more likely to make financial decisions align with your principles. Humans have a desire to see themselves in a certain light, and we’ll reject anything that conflicts with that reality. It’s a phenomenon known as identity reinforcement theory. In other words, you can override bad money behavior by adopting good habits that reflect the person you really want to be.

To read the full article, visit lifehacker.com/how-to-trick-your-brain-into-banishing-bad-money-habits-952152494.

 

DSEF and the Council of Better Business Bureaus (CBBB) foster honest and responsive relationships between businesses and consumers—instilling consumer confidence and advancing a trustworthy marketplace for all.

About the Better Business Bureaus
As the leader in advancing marketplace trust, Better Business Bureau is an unbiased non-profit organization that sets and upholds high standards for fair and honest business behavior. Every year, more than 87 million consumers rely on BBB Business Reviews® and BBB Wise Giving Reports® to help them find trustworthy businesses and charities across North America. Visit www.bbb.org/us for more information.