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. 

Stories about fake package delivery notifications made headlines last year, coinciding with a sharp rise in phishing scams. Now that many consumers have caught on to the text message scheme, scammers are shifting their approach, and no longer posing as mail carriers. Instead, they’re impersonating U.S. Customs and Border Protection, and they claim to have intercepted a package addressed to the victim. 

Better Business Bureau

A rental car shortage is causing prices to skyrocket, and scammers have found a clever way to cash in. BBB Scam Tracker is receiving reports of con artists impersonating rental car company representatives, and claiming to be able to get you a deal on your rental. But it’s really a way to trick you into paying hundreds of dollars for a car that doesn’t exist.

If you’re ready to purchase a home, refinance your home, or take out a home equity loan, you’ll need a mortgage. Mortgage lenders are generally willing to compete for your business, which means that shopping around, comparing prices, and negotiating deals can save you thousands of dollars.

If you want to get the best deal possible, be sure to compare all the costs and understand how mortgages work. 

Austin Kirk/Flickr, License:

When planning an event, looking for a good deal for a family vacation, or a getaway, Better Business Bureau encourages people to plan ahead to save money, avoid scams, and travel safely.

Scammers will often target people looking for great deals online by offering tempting vacation packages at unrealistically low prices. One place to begin an online search is for finding reputable travel agencies, agents, and websites.

bazouz frewal/Flickr

If someone is offering money for nothing, there’s probably a catch, right? In a new twist on a romance scam, a con artist offers to become your “sugar momma” or “sugar daddy" and pay your bills. But according to recent BBB Scam Tracker reports, it's really just a way to trick victims out of money.