Consumer Handbook

Each week Whitney Quick, with the Better Business Bureau in Cape Girardeau, brings you tips to help you be a better consumer and not be caught off guard by scams or the unexpected.

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An in-depth, investigative study by Better Business Bureau finds that fraudulent consumer goods are ubiquitous, difficult to tell apart from the legitimate products they are counterfeiting, and stem from a large network of organized criminals and credit card processing mechanisms that are willing to support them.

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Looking for your next apartment, condominium, or home rental can be a time-consuming process, and it may feel as though you’ll never find the right place at the right price. Scammers know this feeling and can use it to exploit consumers.

Lindsey Grojean/KRCU

Stories of disabled veterans needing assistance often inspire Americans to make donations to charities that promise to help needy veterans. Better Business Bureau reminds donors to look beyond the poignant stories before making a donation.

In recent years, BBB has issued several warnings about charities that failed to live up to promises of providing assistance to veterans in need. Some devoted more money to raising funds than to helping veterans. Some weren't willing to reveal how their funds were spent or the amount of assistance they offered.

Better Business Bureau

If spring fever has you dreaming of ways to spruce up your home this year, Better Business Bureau can help you find a trustworthy contractor to do the work and provide you with helpful tips to know before signing a contract or paying any money. It also helps consumers resolve hundreds of complaints against contractors every year.

Better Business Bureau

Heavy spring rains mean that area residents might need the services of a waterproofing company to help them with water-logged basements. Better Business Bureau advises consumers to check contractors out before signing a contract or paying any money.