Avoid the BBB Top Summer Scams with social media

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - The weather isn't the only thing heating up right now, so are rip-offs. The Better Business Bureau encourages everyone to know the top five summer scams, so they can avoid getting duped.

Even if it sounds like a good deal, never sign a contract. Research the company before you sign the dotted line. That's one way you can avoid getting ripped off from a door-to-door sale, which is one of the Better Business Bureau's top five summer scams.

Looking for concert tickets? Add that to the list. If you don't research where you're buying from, you may never get the tickets,  or if you do, they might not actually get you in the show.

Before you grab a hot summer deal, make sure it's real, like the summer job your kids are looking for. The BBB says keep your kids from door-to-door jobs, or those that make you pay for the interview.

It's also the busiest time of year for moving. Stolen or damaged property were among the more than 1.6 million complaints the BBB received last year from people using moving companies. If you're moving to a new home, use a company with the BBB stamp of approval.

The company says travel tops the list of summer schemes, especially when it comes to vacation club packages; if it looks too good to be true, it just might be.

"They can't book like the people promised them they could book, they don't get the free trip to Hawaii, they don't get the free trip to Disney like they were promised and they want their money back and unfortunately, if you've signed the contract, you've signed the contract," says Kathy Graham with the BBB.

Smart phone, tablets, computers, and more technology means more ways to get tricked, but those are the same platforms you can use to fight the fraud.

With one click of a mouse you can get a lot of information, or you can give a lot of personal information away. Scams heat up this time of year, which is why it may be a good idea for a summer cleaning. Start with your smart phone; wipe it out and start from scratch, or change your passwords, even on your apps.

"We always recommend that for a password, think of a sentence - 'I love my dog skipper.' You use the first letter of each word of the sentence and at the end put an exclamation point," says Graham.

The BBB says crooks are getting creative and reaching out through social media. When is the last time you checked your privacy settings? That's how they find out about you.

Don't post your phone number or your email address; once available, it will be a source for a scam. Since a lot of people have their email attached to their phone, if you open an unsecured link in your email, a hacker can get access to your phone.

This is why you should never open any unfamiliar link. This goes for text messages too. With more sources for rip-offs, schemers may come to you with a good deal, but make sure you dig into the deal first.

Check out a company before you buy and if you have a complaint, make sure you report it. To report a scam: http://www.bbb.org/council/consumer-education/scam-source/scam-or-complaint/

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