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BBB Partners with Western Union to Introduce BBB Scam Stopper

By Steve Abel – President-BBB | November 1, 2012

Website, blog and social media campaignhopes to reach millions with tips to avoid being ripped off by scammers Better Business Bureau and Western Unionlaunched BBB Scam Stopper at www.bbb.org/scamstopper, an education campaign to help consumers in the United States and Canada avoidcommon scams that con artists use to commit consumer fraud. “Western Union devotes extensiveresources to stopping fraud,” says Shelley Bernhardt, the company’s Director ofConsumer Protection. “Our agents are trained to intervene if they suspect acustomer is the victim of a scam. Through our partnership with BBB, we aim togive consumers the information and resources they need to protect themselvesand help stop fraud before it gets that far.” {{more}} Consumer fraud is a serious problem inNorth America. According to the Federal Trade Commission and the CanadianAnti-Fraud Centre, consumers reported losing more than $1.5 billion to alltypes of scams in 2011. BBB investigatesthousands of scams every year, and we know the tactics that scammers commonlyuse. A portion of these scams involvesthe wire transfer of funds, so Western Union is the ideal partner for thiscampaign. The best defense against fraud is awareness and education. It’scrucial for consumers and business owners to recognize scams before they becomevictims. On the Scam Stopper website, consumerscan find facts and tips to stay informed and help reduce their chances ofbecoming a victim of a scam. The site also explains the science of scams, andhow scammers use many of the same “sales tactics” that are used by legitimatebusinesses. Visitors can also sign up to receive BBB Scam Alerts, weekly emailswith the latest scams reported to BBBs across the country. The site highlights common scams likeEmergency Scams , Overpayment Scams , Sweepstakes and Lottery Scams , and more.Personal finance writer/blogger Erica Sandberg has also joined the effort andis blogging and creating public service announcements about scams and fraud forBBB Scam Stopper.