Consumer Handbook

Every week, join Whitney Quick as she helps you navigate life as a smart consumer. You'll cover everything in avoiding the latest scams, including phishing emails, medical equipment fraud, understanding layaway, hiring a reputable tax preparer, and even digital spring cleaning. 

Add to your toolbox and flip through your Consumer Handbook Thursdays during NPR’s Morning Edition at 6:42 a.m. and 8:42 a.m., only on KRCU. 

David Goehring/Flickr, License: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/legalcode

As leaves begin to fall and garden plants go to seed, homeowners may be thinking about hiring a lawn or landscape firm to clean up yards before winter. Better Business Bureau advises homeowners to check companies out carefully before hiring them, and ask for a contract that says what will be done and when.

KRCU

Many people are savvy enough to know that tech support scammers often reach out to potential victims by phone or with a popup.

Marco Verch Professional Photographer/Flickr, License: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/legalcode

Many online shops offer "buy now, pay later" installment services that target high school and college students. These services are quickly gaining in popularity allowing shoppers to purchase just about anything – from electronics to a pair of shoes – by agreeing to pay a series of smaller installments. Before signing up, consumers should research the option carefully so they can make informed purchasing decisions and avoid getting in over their heads.

Flickr

Scammers have been using employment scams to trick people out of their personal information and money for years. These scams often target students or others looking for part-time jobs. Recently, BBB Scam Tracker has seen reports of a tempting scam that appears to be a friendly family looking for a pet sitter. 

Better Business Bureau

During this time of the year, college students are having to spend money on tuition payments and school supplies as they begin a new semester. Scammers are taking this opportunity to try to steal some of that money through various schemes and scams. 

According to BBB’s most recent Scam Tracker Risk Report, adults ages 18-24 reported the highest median losses - $150 - and many of the scams took place online.

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