(Lake Havasu City, AZ – August 16, 2017) For the first time since June 1918 a total solar eclipse will be visible from coast to coast in the United States, travelling across the nation from Oregon to South Carolina on August 21, 2017. People will be able to observe via television, telescopes, or their own eyes; however, big events also mean big opportunities for scammers and unethical businesses. Better Business Bureau (BBB) reminds everyone the importance of planning carefully and trusting your instincts.
Be on the lookout for the following scams as you get ready for the eclipse:
Counterfeit Eclipse Glasses
Never look directly at the sun. To view the eclipse without damage to your eyes, use solar filter glasses. While sunglasses block about 50 percent of the sun’s rays, solar filter glasses block more than 99.99 percent. Unfortunately, many solar glasses available online may be fake or do not meet safety specifications. Your best bet is to stick with a brand certified by NASA or the American Astronomical Society (AAS) – for a list of reputable vendors visit eclipse.aas.org/resources/solar-filters.
Additional tips for safe viewing:
- Regular sunglasses, even very dark sunglasses, are not enough.
- Warn children of the danger of viewing the eclipse without protective eyewear.
- Do not observe the eclipse through an unfiltered camera, telescope, binoculars, or other optical device.
- Read more about viewing the solar eclipse safely at eclipse2017.nasa.gov/safety.
If looking for a place to stay during the eclipse, be careful when booking online through a third-party site. Check with bbb.org to see what previous customers have to say about their experience. Don’t deal with anyone who asks for payment outside the website’s approved options, and ask for a confirmation number or email. Always double check that a listing is on the real website and emails are coming from official addresses. Using a credit card offers the best fraud protection.
There have been reports of travelers who booked hotels for the eclipse long in advance (before it was widely publicized) only to see their reservations canceled or moved to hotels far from viewing spots. Some of the original rooms are then offered again at a much higher rate. If you are travelling out of town for the eclipse and have a hotel booked, double-check your reservations before heading out.
Cities across the path of totality are offering free and/or VIP viewing parties. Scammers may set up fake events online or through social media and charge people for access to what should be a free event. NASA has information on many events at eclipse2017.nasa.gov/event-locations.
Traffic will likely be very heavy on any road between a major city and the eclipse path. A bus might sound like great option, but be careful you don’t make a reservation only to end up without transportation. Make sure you deal directly with a bus or limo company to avoid scammers using a legitimate business as a front. Go to bbb.org to look for Accredited Businesses and read reviews and complaints before you book.
This month’s eclipse may be a rare chance to see an extraordinary astronomical event right in your backyard. That urgency and unique opportunity are what can make scams successful. Remember to do your research and if something seems too good to be true, it probably is.
If you are the victim of a scam related to the eclipse, go to BBB.org/scamtracker to file a scam report.
For more information or to schedule an interview with a BBB spokesperson, please contact Elaine Cullen at 928-302-3701 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Better Business Bureau Serving Central, Northern & Western Arizona
For more than 100 years, Better Business Bureau (BBB) has been helping people find businesses, brands and charities they can trust. In 2016, people turned to BBB more than 167 million times for BBB Business Profiles on more than 5.2 million businesses and Charity Reports on 11,000 charities – all available for free at bbb.org. Incorporated locally in 1938, BBB Serving Central, Northern and Western Arizona covers 10 counties through its campuses in Phoenix, Lake Havasu City, Prescott and Yuma supported by over 11,600 BBB Accredited Businesses. Businesses that earn BBB Accreditation contractually agree and adhere to high standards of ethical business practices. BBB provides objective advice, free business and charity profiles, and educational information on topics affecting marketplace trust.
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Better Business Bureau, 4428 N. 12th Street, Phoenix, AZ 85014 United States
Being a great athlete isn’t just about running the fastest or jumping the highest. It’s also about doing the right thing. That’s why Better Business Bureau (BBB) has partnered with Arizona Interscholastic Association (AIA) to recognize Arizona high school athletes whose ethics standout to coaches, teammates, and fans. Do you know an athlete that does the right thing on and off the field? Nominate them today we’re at BBB ethical athlete’s scholarship, click here to see more details.
The Better Business Bureau has partnered with Isagenix to recognize high school athletes doing the right thing on and off the court. Two athletes are chosen each month during the school year. Each month a $1,000 scholarship is issued to one male and one female. Then, all the winners during the school year are eligible for the “Ethical Champion” at the end of the school year and two of our winners (again, one male, one female) will receive an additional $2,500 scholarship.
Do you know the next the winner? We’ve already had three winners in Mohave County – two from Mohave High School and one from Lake Havasu High School and hopefully more to come!
Congratulations Mitch and Mayor Nexsen for being honored by the Vietnam Veterans of America
They both received the second highest award the VVA can award them. It was for their efforts in support of veterans and the Veterans Treatment Court in Havasu.
I’m so proud of you Mitch and all you do! Love you!
Click here to see the video.
We’re giving away two pairs of tickets each day until Saturday’s concert.
Tune in to to win!
REBA, BROOKS & DUNN: Together in Vegas, a one-of-a-kind concert experience live at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace. Tickets for performances June 21 – July 2nd and November 29th – December 9th, 2017 are now on sale at axs.com!
Must be 21 years of age or older. Prize may be used only for the date(s) specified. Hotel guest room accommodations for winner and guest, double occupancy, three days and two nights based on availability. Not redeemable for cash, not transferable, may not be combined with another offer. Winner must use all prize components in a single visit. Winner may not substitute prize components. In the unlikely event that one or more of the prize components is not available for any reason, AEG/Caesars Palace reserves the right to substitute a Las Vegas experience of equal or greater value at its sole discretion. In the unlikely event that the artist does not perform during the scheduled trip, for any reason, AEG/Caesars Palace may substitute a Las Vegas resort experience of equal or greater value at its sole discretion. AEG/Caesars Palace is not responsible for transportation. Gratuities are not included. Hotel guest must present a major credit card at check-in to guarantee hotel charges not included in this prize.
Reba McEntire has become a household name with a successful career that spans across music, television, film, theater and retail. Her chart-topping LOVE SOMEBODY (Nash Icon Records), solidified Reba with the most #1 Billboard Top Country Albums among women and scored the biggest single sales debut of her career with “Going Out Like That.” With a loyal fanbase that gravitates toward her undeniable appeal, the multi-media mogul and mom continues to prove why she is still the reigning “Queen of Country.” Reba’s latest offering “Just Like Them Horses,” whose music video features her mother Jacqueline is a tribute to her late father Clark McEntire. The Country Music Hall of Fame and Grand Ole Opry member has achieved a rare pinnacle with 35 #1 singles, over 56 million albums sold worldwide and prestigious industry honors from American Music Awards, ACM Awards, People’s Choice Awards, CMA Awards and Grammy Awards. The Oklahoma native is also an acclaimed actress with 11 movie credits, two television shows and a leading role on Broadway to her name. Reba’s business acumen has flourished with her brand partnership at Dillard’s and a new Reba Beauty line. Reba’s energy and curiosity keeps her at the top of her game in the ever-evolving world of entertainment. She loves TO entertain and to BE entertained. She “still has far too much to say than to rest on her laurels” (Associated Press). For more information, visit Reba.com.
ABOUT BROOKS & DUNN
Superstar duo Brooks & Dunn released their first album in 1991, a blockbuster that delivered four #1 singles – the first of 23 chart-toppers in a career that’s seen Kix Brooks and Ronnie Dunn become the best-selling duo in country music history. Hits like “Boot Scootin’ Boogie,” “My Maria,” “Only in America,” and “Believe” have propelled Brooks & Dunn to more than 30 million albums sold, as the duo has amassed more than 80 industry awards, including two Grammy Awards, 20 Country Music Association trophies, and 27 Academy of Country Music honors, making them the most-awarded act in ACM history. Named Entertainer of the Year four times collectively by the ACM and CMA, Brooks & Dunn consistently remained among country’s most popular touring acts, a testament both to their showmanship and to their status as one of the true bedrock artists of country music. For more information, visit www.brooksanddunn.com.
AEG Live, the live-entertainment division of Los Angeles-based AEG, is dedicated to all aspects of live contemporary music performance. AEG Live is comprised of touring, festival and special event divisions, seventeen regional offices and owns, operates or exclusively books thirty-five state-of-the-art venues. The current and recent concert tour roster includes artists such as Alicia Keys, Bruno Mars, Bon Jovi, Carrie Underwood, Cher, Ed Sheeran, Enrique Iglesias, George Strait, Hunter Hayes, J Cole, Jennifer Lopez, Justin Bieber, Kanye West, Katy Perry, Kenny Chesney, Leonard Cohen, Paul McCartney, Pitbull, The Rolling Stones, Taylor Swift, The WHO, Trey Songz and Juanes. The company is also currently producing residency shows at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas including Celine Dion, Mariah Carey, Rod Stewart, and Reba, Brooks & Dunn and is the exclusive promoter at The Joint at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Las Vegas. AEG Live is also the largest producer of music festivals in North America from the critically acclaimed Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival to Stagecoach Country Music Festival and New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. www.aeglive.com
World-renowned Las Vegas hotel and casino and voted “Best Strip Hotel” by the readers of the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Caesars Palace features 3,980 hotel guest rooms and suites, including the all-new Julius Tower, the 181-room Nobu Hotel Caesars Palace and Forbes Star Award-winning The Laurel Collection by Caesars Palace. The 85-acre resort offers 25 diverse dining options including the award-winning Bacchanal Buffet, as well as celebrity chef-branded restaurants by Gordon Ramsay, Bobby Flay, Nobu Matsuhisa, Guy Savoy, Searsucker Las Vegas and MR CHOW Las Vegas. The resort also features nearly 130,000 square-feet of casino space, a five-acre Garden of the Gods pool oasis, the luxurious Qua Baths & Spa and the new 75,000 square-foot OMNIA Nightclub. The 4,300-seat Colosseum, Billboard Magazine¹s Venue of the Decade, spotlights world-class entertainers including Celine Dion, Elton John, Rod Stewart, Reba, Brooks & Dunn, Mariah Carey and Jerry Seinfeld. The Forum Shops at Caesars showcases more than 160 boutiques and restaurants. For more information
BBB Warns About Employment Scams Using Well-Known Brand Names
(Lake Havasu City, AZ – June 21, 2017) If you are looking for employment, be aware of scam job postings, fake recruiter emails, and work-at-home schemes. Cons often use real company names and can be very convincing. It may look as though you are starting a great new career, but you’re really giving personal information or money to scammers.
Don’t let stress when looking for a new job make you vulnerable to scams. Be wary of on-the-spot offers or payment requirements for opportunities or training.
How Scams Work:
You spot a “Help Wanted” ad online or receive an email from a “recruiter” asking you to apply for a position. The ad likely uses the name of a real business or government agency. Companies small and large – even BBB – have been impersonated. You apply and get a quick response from the “hiring manager” often with an offer, without having an interview.
After you are “hired,” the company may charge upfront for “training.” You could be asked to provide personal and banking information to run a credit check or set up direct deposit. You also may be “accidentally” overpaid with a fake check and asked to deposit the check and wire back the difference. You might be asked to buy expensive equipment and supplies to work from home.
How to Spot an Employment Scam:
Be on the lookout for positions likely to be scams. Be leery of work-from-home or secret shopper positions, or any job with a generic title such as caregiver, administrative assistant, or customer service representative. Positions that don’t require special training or licensing appeal to a wide range of applicants. Scammers know this and use these otherwise legitimate titles in fake ads. If the job posting is for a well-known brand, check the real company’s job site to see if the position is posted.
Be suspicious of different procedures. Watch out for on-the-spot job offers. You may be an excellent candidate for the job, but avoid offers made without an interview. A real company will want to talk to a candidate before hiring. Don’t fall for an overpayment scam. No legitimate job would ever overpay an employee and ask for money to be wired elsewhere. This is a common trick used by scammers. Be cautious sharing personal information and watch out for any company that promises great opportunities or big earnings as long as you pay for coaching, training, certifications or directories.
Know government agencies post all jobs publicly and freely. The U.S. and Canadian federal governments and the U.S. Postal Service/Canada Postal Service never charge for job information or applications. Be leery of any offer that gives you special access or guarantees a job for a fee – if you are paying for the promise of a job, it’s probably a scam.
Get all details and contracts in writing. A legitimate company will provide a contract for services, cost included, details of what you get, who pays (you or the employer), and what happens if you do not find a job.
Desert Edge & Mountain View High School Athletes Win
BBB Ethical Champion Scholarship for Doing the Right Thing
(Lake Havasu City, AZ – June 8, 2017) Two years ago, Better Business Bureau (BBB) had a powerful thought…it’s never too early to make ethics a big deal. Working with businesses and consumers for over 100 years, BBB knows the importance of ethics and believes future professionals are experiencing situations that will shape their ethical foundation right now. The BBB Ethical Athlete Scholarship, presented by Isagenix, honors Arizona student athletes who do the right thing no matter who is watching. In partnership with the Arizona Interscholastic Association (AIA), BBB recognized two Ethical Champions and awarded each an additional $2,500 scholarship.
“At the high school level, athletes start to face ethical decisions that might impact the rest of their lives,” said BBB President/CEO Matthew Fehling. “For us, the BBB Ethical Champions serve as role models whose moral compass not only guides their actions, but also influences those around them.”
“Isagenix is extremely proud of the young men and women recognized by this scholarship,” said Cheryl Lewis, VP of Corporate Affairs for Isagenix. “As a company focused on health and wellness, we are proud to support young athletes who are not only devoted to their passion in sports, but who are also committed to the same ethics and values that are central drivers for our company.”
Charles Walker from Desert Edge High School in Goodyear and Whitney Weaver from Mountain View High School in Marana were selected as this year’s BBB Ethical Champions. Selected from a list of 11 students who received the BBB Ethical Athlete Scholarship during the 2016-2017 school year, both nominations stood out for doing the right thing even in the most difficult situations.
A senior football player, Walker found himself in an awkward situation when one of his close friends started doing drugs and he had to tell his parents. In her nomination, Walker’s mother, Debra, shared the friend’s parents contacted her to thank her son for trying to steer him away from drugs. The friend’s parents had been monitoring his texts and social media accounts and noted that Walker was the only friend who advised him to avoid drugs and even offered to pick him up from dangerous situations. The parents reached out to Walker to find out what was going on and out of concern for his friend, he told the truth – knowing he would be labeled a “snitch.”
“Charles stuck to his values and told his friend he did not regret telling the truth because it was saving his future,” said his mother Debra in her nomination. “Brave of Charles to go against the norm and do what was right and best for this friend.”
A senior soccer player, Weaver confronted a peer who was cheating on tests even though it might end their friendship. On the field, Weaver went against a coach’s advice to avoid interacting with less skilled players because it would lessen her chances of making the varsity team as a freshmen. Doing the right thing, Weaver reached out to new teammates and not only offered friendship, but also trained with them to help them make the team.
“Whitney was willing to reduce her chances of making the varsity team rather than compromise her values,” said her nominator.
BBB recognized the following students as BBB Ethical Athletes during the 2016-2017 school year:
Zachary Patterson from Mohave High School
Jacob Adams from Saguaro High School
Sarah Jane Schott from Prescott High School
Bailee Liska from Lake Havasu High School
Noel Melendrez from Metro Tech High School
June Obata from Horizon High School
Saikou Gueye from Mountain Ridge High School
Rachel Valentine from Mingus Union High School
Marco Galindo from Metro Tech High School
Catherine Zingg from Greenway High School
Trayvin Cato from Paradise Valley High School
BBB and AIA review public nominations and select ethical athletes to be honored throughout the year. At the end of the school year, all BBB Ethical Athletes are considered for the BBB Ethical Champion award.
Nominate Arizona high school athletes for the BBB Ethical Athlete Scholarship at athlete.arizonabbb.org.
Five Myths About Scams Busted
(Lake Havasu City, AZ – June 7, 2017) There are many misconceptions about scams, several of which help scammers steal not only money, but also personal information. To help consumers understand the reality around scams, Better Business Bureau (BBB) shares five common myths along with resources to stay safe.
BBB gathers information on scams through BBB Scam Tracker, an online tool where the public can share and view scams happening all over the U.S. Every year, the BBB Institute for Marketplace Trust releases statistics gathered from information provided through BBB Scam Tracker.
BBB shares five common myths about scams:
- Identifying a scam or scammer is easy – Most scammers are adept at manipulation and the scams they perpetrate are elaborate. Scammers put up a facade to make consumers believe they are legitimate and the internet can makes it easier to operate undetected. As soon as detection occurs, most scammers change their name and start the operation all over again. In reality, scams and scammers can be hard to detect.
- Mostly elderly and uneducated people fall for scams – Believing scams are someone else’s issue can be dangerous. At some point, everyone is a potential target. Almost 70 percent of scam victims are under the age of 45, and of those victims, almost 80 percent hold a college or graduate degree. The truth is, anyone can be a victim.
- Economically, scams don’t really affect the community – According to a report from BBB’s Institute for Marketplace Trust, one in five victims will lose money to a scammer this year and the estimated monetary loss for victims is $50 billion. In the end, money lost to scammers is money that could be spent supporting ethical businesses, nonprofits, and our community.
- No one can protect themselves from scammers – Sixty percent of victims reported that not knowing about a scam and the techniques used by scammers contributed to them falling for the scam. Of consumers who reported a scam to BBB, 80 percent claimed that being aware of a specific scam helped them avoid falling victim. As some say, knowledge is power and knowing about scams can protect consumers.
- Reporting a scam won’t help – Actually, reporting scams makes a difference. Half of those who take time to report scams do so to warn others. Reporting a scam to BBB’s Scam Tracker can help others learn about scams happening in their area.
Update Your Software to Help Prevent Ransomware!
BBB Tips to Help Protect Your Computer
(Lake Havasu City, AZ – May 17, 2017) A major ransomware attack was unleashed worldwide on Friday, infecting at least 75,000 computers in 99 countries, according to preliminary reports. The ransomware locked computers and networks using file encryption software, and demanded payment by Bitcoin (a non-traceable crypto-currency) to release the data.
The attack typically enters through a phishing email and then spreads to other machines on the same network by exploiting a vulnerability in Microsoft Windows. Although Microsoft discovered the vulnerability and released a patch in March, many computer users do not regularly update their operating systems and may have missed the critical repair.
- Don’t click on links from unfamiliar sources. Even if you think you know the sender, be cautious about clicking on email links. When in doubt, delete it. Be especially wary of messages requiring you to act quickly, asking for personal information, or threatening you in any way.
- Keep clean machines: Prevent infections by updating critical software as soon as patches or new operating system versions are available. This includes mobile and other internet-connected devices.
- Use strong authentication, requiring more than a username and password to access accounts, especially critical networks, to prevent access through stolen or hacked credentials. Check out Lock down your login for more information.
- Conduct regular backups of systems: Systems can be restored in cases of ransomware and having current backup of all data speeds the recovery process.
- Make better passwords: In cases where passwords are still used, require long, strong and unique passwords to better harden accounts against intrusions.
Businesses need to take special precautions when it comes to protecting their customers’ information. One of the BBB Standards for Trust is:
Safeguard Privacy: Protect any data collected against mishandling and fraud, collect personal information only as needed, and respect the preferences of consumers regarding the use of their information.
One of the ways businesses can safeguard privacy is by taking BBB’s “Five Steps to Better Business Cybersecurity” (bbb.org/cybersecurity).
Consumers can learn more about avoiding scams and fraud at bbb.org/scamtips.
BBB Teams with ADT and Trade Associations to Help Consumers Fight Deceptive Door-to-Door Alarm Sales
(Lake Havasu City, AZ – May 10, 2017) With thousands of consumers victimized by fraudulent door-to-door home security sales every summer, the Better Business Bureau (BBB) is sounding the alarm about deceptive tactics.
Reaching a national audience from Sacramento, BBB, local victims and leaders of two security industry associations, along with ADT – a leading home security company, BBB Accredited Business and National Partner – joined forces May 9 to alert consumers.
“Consumers should feel safe wherever they are,” said Mary E. Power, president and CEO of the Council of Better Business Bureaus. “When a con takes advantage of people, literally at their front door, it poses a significant challenge. We appreciate the industry taking a lead on helping BBB address these deceptive sales tactics.”
In 2016, over a half million consumers across North America used BBB resources to research information about home security companies; but thousands also complained about dishonest and misleading sales pitches.
Speaking out yesterday was victim Marie Marshall. The 86-year-old was deceived into switching her ADT service to another company, which the salesman falsely claimed was affiliated with ADT. Marshall is now in a 60-month contract with that company, paying a higher monthly rate.
“By the time I realized I had signed with another company, it was too late,” said Marshall. “I am very disappointed that I got duped into doing business with a company that practices deceptive sales.”
BBB offers the following tips for consumers considering a home security system:
Choose a trustworthy business.
- Consider your security needs and the specific valuables you want protected.
- Consider your security requirements and budget.
- Get recommendations from your homeowners or renters insurance carrier.
- Always check out businesses at bbb.org.
Contact at least three companies.
- Make sure they are properly licensed in your area.
- Ask if they run criminal background checks on employees prior to hiring.
- Make sure they pledge to uphold industry standards. You can look them up at the Electronic Security Association or the Canadian Security Association.
Ask about all charges up front.
- Prices vary based on the level of protection and type of technology.
- Compare bids on similar systems.
- Factor in the initial installation charge as well as monthly monitoring fees.
- Talk to your insurance agent to see if the system qualifies for a discount on your homeowner’s premiums.
Know the ins and outs of your contract.
- Will your alarm system be monitored? By the installing company or a third-party?
- What is the length of the contract (typically 2-5 years)?
- What is your recourse if you are not satisfied? Can you cancel the contract?
- What are your rights if your monitoring company is purchased or acquired by another alarm company?
What happens if you change your mind after the sale? In the United States, the “cooling off” rule is three-days for door-to-door sales.
Here are some “red flags” to watch out for:
- High pressure sales tactics
- Deals that sound too good to be true
- Lack of company identification
- A poor rating with BBB
“We urge those who are selling security systems to abide by the BBB Standards for Trust,” said Conner. “Tell the truth, honor promises, and embody integrity.”