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. 

iphonedigital/Flickr, License: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/legalcode

Did you receive a text with a survey about your vaccine? It’s one of those scams that just keeps reappearing, each time with a new twist. This time, the phony survey claims to be from pharmaceutical company Pfizer, with questions about their COVID-19 vaccine. 

In this scam, you receive an email or text message that claims to be from Pfizer, one of the pharmaceutical companies producing an approved COVID-19 vaccine. In some versions, the message claims that you will receive money for completing a quick survey. Other versions offer a "free" product. 

Flickr/https://tiagoscharfy.com/

Gift cards have become a multibillion-dollar industry, a gift that always fits and stands up to social distancing. Worldwide, consumers spent billions on gift cards last year. However, that total comes with an asterisk - it includes the gift cards on which scammers increasingly rely to extract payment from their victims.

Marco Verch/Flickr, License: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/legalcode, https://www.flickr.com/photos/30478819@N08/51037382528/in/photolist-2kysitD-2kyoHxq-2kKZVHb-e42b9D-fLjkWe-egePY2-nAXXZX-LHkm8J

The GameStop stock saga inspired many would-be investors to try their hand at trading stocks through an app. In fact, MarketWatch reported that mobile trading apps downloads climbed in February – a trend that is likely to continue.

Better Business Bureau

The Better Business Bureau is alerting the public to a con where scammers are again impersonating Amazon.com, this time through a text scam that claims you’ve won a raffle for a fitness watch, earbuds, or other tech gadget.

Gauthier/Flickr

There are always a lot of moving parts when it comes to planning a wedding. Add a pandemic to the mix, and it can easily feel overwhelming. That said, many couples have proven that with a little ingenuity, flexibility, and a few precautions, it is possible to pull off a beautiful and safe wedding, even in the face of extremely challenging circumstances.

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