Better Business Bureau has a great new app for everyone to find Accredited Businesses, right in their area.
Check it out!
Tickets for Elton John’s tour go on sale Friday, February 2nd for shows in Buffalo and Albany. Remember Better Business Bureau (BBB) advice if you are buying those tickets on the secondary market.
Remember when buying meant camping out the night before the tickets went on sale? Those days are long gone since the majority of buying and selling is done online.
A quick internet search shows some tickets are already for sale.
There are now several options for fans to buy and sell through online marketplaces, resellers, and ticket sellers. We know that recently, some concerts and events sold out quickly because “bots” buy up tickets quickly before the general public has the chance to make a purchase. In New York State it is illegal to resell tickets purchased with “bots.”
BBB received over 300 reports on our Scam Tracker about scams related to sporting events, big concerts, shows, and more.
We recently issued an alert when the Buffalo Bills made the playoffs.
There are several ways you can protect yourself and make sure you are getting tickets to the event. Visit bbb.org/tickets for more advice.
In the 17 years since the last playoff appearance, we’ve seen big changes in the way tickets to events are bought and sold. Also, there were no social media back in 1999. So we can say that things have changed a lot!
The Buffalo Bills will take on the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday. The Jaguars’ website states that all tickets are mobile entry only, meaning no paper tickets are issued for the game. Fans must have a smartphone to enter.
If you decide you want to buy tickets, they are available on the secondary market. But remember to check those tickets before purchasing. BBB has advice for buying tickets here.
Traveling to Jacksonville
Getting that ticket is the first part of the battle, now you have to get to Jacksonville. BBB has advice for those seeking last-minute travel arrangements.
Sports fans are always eager to show off their team’s accomplishments. Hats and other merchandise are already out there celebrating the Bills in the playoffs. Unfortunately, scammers take advantage of this excitement and set up fake websites.
We recently spoke to Justin Moore of WKBW-TV in Buffalo about this:
Check a site’s security settings. If the site is secure, its URL will start with “https://” and include a lock icon on the purchase or shopping cart page.
If you see any scams, please report them to BBB’s Scam Tracker by visiting BBB.og.
The goal is to encourage shoppers to support small, local businesses. Each year the message and movement get bigger.
Better Business Bureau of Upstate New York is pleased to support Small Business Saturday for the sixth year and urges consumers to support small businesses in their community.
Number of Small Businesses: There are 23 million small businesses in the country.
Overall Sales: An estimated 112 million consumers reported shopping at small businesses on Small Business Saturday, marking a 13 percent increase from 2015.
Engaging Others: 81 percent reported encouraging friends and family to shop or dine small as well.
Local Support: Among those who shopped on the day, 32% reported attending a community event.
Social Media: November through the 26th, there were nearly 250,000 social media posts combined on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter using #ShopSmall, #SmallBizSat and/or #DineSmall.
Awareness: 72 percent of U.S. consumers now know about Small Business Saturday.
Remember, you can always look up your local businesses on our website at bbb.org.
‘Tis the season for giving and Better Business Bureau of Upstate New York’s 2017-2018 Giving Guide is a great resource to help you give wisely. The Guide can be accessed online and lists charities across Upstate New York
Poor grammar/spelling. Legitimate companies do not share posts on social media with spelling, capitalization, and common grammar errors.
Check the URL. Most legitimate companies have a very simple web address. If you hover over the hyperlink and the website address looks fishy, don’t click it.
Is the offer too good to be true? It probably is! Most companies don’t offer large discounts for free. While it would be nice, remember, the ultimate goal of the scammer is to get a hold of your personal information or access to your Facebook friends list or in some cases, access to your computer or device.
Don’t take the bait. Stay away from promotions of “exclusive” or “one time offer.” If it is too good to be true, it’s probably a scam.
When in doubt, check it out. Go to the retailer’s page or to the website to see if there is an offer there that looks identical to the offer on social media.
Don’t trust your “friends” online. It might not actually be your friends who are “liking” or sharing scam links to photos. Their account may have been hacked and scammers could be using another tactic called “clickjacking” (Clickjacking is a technique that scammers use to trick you into clicking on social media links on which you would not usually click).
Hockey season is here, and fans are always looking to get a great deal on their favorite players jersey or other gear from their team. A Buffalo Sabres fan filed a complaint with Better Business Bureau of Upstate New York recently about a website they thought was legitimate, until the product didn’t come and they had no way to contact the owners of the site.
The website, hockeysabresshop.com, passed itself off as “the official online store of the Buffalo Sabres.” Through our complaint process, we reached out to the owners of the website several times asking for more information about the company. A BBB investigation revealed the domain name hockeysabresshop.com is overseas and was using the BBB logo fraudulently.
From the complaint: “Website looks professional until I realized payment was made through a 3rd party, there is no contact telephone number nor any physical address, the language in some of the descriptions is not proper English (poor grammar and punctuation).”
BBB worked with the NHL and the Buffalo Sabres to shut the website down, through a Federal court order.
The bottom line: trust your instincts. If you aren’t comfortable with any aspect of your purchasing experience, it’s better to just walk away. If you stumble upon a counterfeit website, let us know! Report the info to the brand owner, the authorities, and BBB Scam Tracker.
Better Business Bureau of Upstate New York has received several Scam Tracker reports and phone calls regarding emails claiming to be a notice of a complaint from BBB. These emails are fraudulent and are phishing scams, attempting to gain your personal information or download harmful files to your computer.
These emails are being reported across North America and BBB has additional information and steps to take, which can be found here.
Below is an example of the emails:
Equifax, Inc. this week was the target of a cyber security incident. As a result, it could impact over 143 million people in the United States.
This website will show people if their information is part of the breach.
Better Business Bureau of Upstate New York has some suggestions if you were affected by this cyber security incident:
Do not take a “wait and see” approach. Breaches involving personal information have the potential to be damaging victims and can be hard to fix.
Consider freezing your credit reports. Freezing your report doesn’t impact your current credit cards and accounts, rather it creates a roadblock for thieves who try to set up accounts using your information. Visit go.bbb.org/creditfreeze for more advice.
If your Social Security number is on the list you should place a fraud alert on your credit report. This step will provide an extra layer of protection in addition to the other steps listed.
Take advantage of any free credit monitoring services offered by Equifax. While this isn’t a preventive measure, it is another way to let you know about new accounts or inquiries so that you can act quickly to repair the damage.
Check your credit! You can get a free credit report at annualcreditreport.com to check for any unauthorized charges or other signs of fraud (NOTE: This is the only free credit report option authorized by the Federal Trade Commission).
For more information and complete step-by-step guidance on repairing the damage caused by identity theft, visit the FTC’s identity theft resources.
Equifax set up a website with information about the breach: equifaxsecurity2017.com.