Brought to you by WBIW News and Network Indiana
Last updated on Tuesday, February 5, 2013
(UNDATED) - Before you get too excited about that letter claiming you have two free airline tickets to anywhere in the country, the Better Business Bureau warns there are a number of scams that promise everything from free trips to home protection services.
We received a letter claiming we "qualified for an award of 2 free airline tickets" just this week.
Who wouldn't want to get away to a warm climate this time of year? But as tempting as that offer sounds, it's likely a scam.
"The first thing they try to do is establish a connection," advises BBB of Central Indiana President and CEO Bill Thomas. "The way they establish a connection is talking about something free, talking about something that makes you feel good, to try to get a hook. And then it's going to go from there."
Another wave of scams target seniors and pushes a home security system. They come in the form of "pushy" telemarketing calls from companies under the names of "Senior Emergency Care," "Senior Safety Alert" or "Senior Safe Alert."
Thomas warns "pushy" is key to knowing the difference between what's legitimate and what's a con.
"They are trying to get you to jump right away," he said. "They're going to create a sense of urgency."
As a rule of thumb, Thomas recommends when you get a pre-recorded call to hang up.
And you should never have to pay money up front.
While scams like these have been going on for years, Thomas admits the frequency is increasing because technology makes it easier for scam artists to work for a minimal amount of money. "And there is a high return on the end for them," he said.
If you're tempted to take the bait, just take some time to check out the claim.
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