BBB offers tips to protect yourself from fall scams

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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) – Thieves often use the changing seasons to help them find ways to take your money, and fall is no different.

And the Better Business Bureau wants to protect you from the latest schemes.

From home improvements to Medicare enrollment scams, fraudsters are always looking for ways to scam you out of your money, but the BBB has some tips to protect you.

“The potential for getting ripped off by an inferior company…that exists throughout the year, and in the fall, is no exception,” said BBB communications director Alex Derencz.

The BBB says scammers see this time of year as a great opportunity to scam customers through home improvement projects such as roof repairs, chimney sweeps, furnace checks.

“And that’s where hiring a reputable and approved company is so important. You want to be able to relax knowing the job is in their hands, so that’s where things like do your research, look them up on our website so you can see the history of complaints. You can see what other customers have said,” Derencz advised.

He also recommends putting everything in writing before work begins on your home.

But he also warns people about health insurance and student loan forgiveness scams, because the time to apply for both programs is starting soon.

He said scammers often impersonate government officials and like to take advantage of anything that could be confusing or time-sensitive.

“Be very careful with impromptu communications. They will only contact you if you are already registered or if you contact them to get back in touch with you. If they contact you and want some form of payment, that, big red flag, it’s a scam, cut off communication with them immediately,” Derencz said.

The BBB also warns people to keep sensitive information such as social security numbers and credit card information near the vest.

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