Jul 07

Keeping your children safe online this summer

BBB tips for online safety

family internet safety

Summer is here and kids are off from school, which could mean more time spent online. It is more important than ever to take steps to make sure your kids and your family’s personal information are kept safe. Better Business Bureau of Upstate New York has tips and information to keep your family safe online this summer.

Online threats include cyberbullying, cyber predators, oversharing of information, scams, and malware or other data breaches.

“Parents protect their children from all types of real world threats, so it is important to protect them online as well,” said Warren Clark, BBB of Upstate New York president. “Parents should be aware of who their children are communicating with and what is being said. We hear so many times parents are shocked finding their child is communicating very differently online than they would have expected.”

BBB offers a family internet safety checklist to keep your family’s private information safe:

  • Talk to your kids. Have conversations about practicing online safety. Don’t wait for your kids to come to you, use everyday opportunities to talk about it.
  • Set family rules. Communicate your expectations and keep track of your kid’s passwords. Set clear online behavior expectations for your kids and explain how they apply in an online context. For example, be specific about what is off limits and what you consider inappropriate behavior.
  • Monitor their social media presence. Parents should know where their kids have accounts or profiles and what information they are sharing. Creating their accounts for them can help parents maintain better control.It’s important to verify app and game privacy policies and opt out options. Make sure apps are downloaded from reliable sources.
  • Check privacy settings and consider parental controls. Regularly review the privacy and security policies on the websites your children frequent. Websites change default privacy settings from time to time – and parents will want to know who can see a social media profile, as well as what information might be shared with marketers or strangers. Consider parental controls such as time limits and controls that limit what content is accessible.
  • Review common online scam red flags. Make sure your kids know not to click on unsolicited links that appear on their screens or in emails, or social media offers that sound too good to be true. If they are not sure, make sure they ask an adult. Often times, infected emails will appear to be from someone you or they know. If this is the case, it’s best to email or call the person to see if they meant to send you the message.



More resources on internet safety for your family can be found at bbb.org.



Jun 16

BBB helps keep seniors informed at scam seminar

Tips for avoiding phone, internet and door-to-door scams were presented at the Guilderland Public Library Friday June 9.

Better Business Bureau of Upstate New York, New York State Senator George Amedore, AT&T and the library worked together to keep seniors informed of common scams that target them. “Education is key,” said Warren Clark, president and CEO of BBB. “The more information we can get to you, knowing what to look for and what not do, the better.”
Clark discussed phone scams, fraudulent emails social media posts, door-to-door shams and other common scams.
Seniors are often targeted because they tend to be trusting, unable to complete home improvement projects on their own and are susceptible to a friendly pitch, Clark said.

Seniors scams upstate new york

From left to right: BBB of Upstate New York President and CEO Warren Clark, New York State Senator George Amedore, AT&T Director of External Affairs Ed Bergstraesser, and Guilderland Public Library Director Tim Wiles pose for a photo before the a senior scam prevention seminar June 9.

BBB advice for avoiding scams:

• Never pay the entire cost of a job up front. A small down payment is understandable, but you should never have to pay the full price before any work is done.
• Read contracts thoroughly, show it to someone you trust and ask questions! Make sure you get what is promised in writing.
• Never give banking information, account numbers or your Social Security number over the phone. Your bank or credit company will have that information.
• Beware of high-pressure sales tactics.
• Never give out personal information.
• Don’t click on unsolicited links.
• Keep all virus protection software updated. New threats are constantly popping up. Virus protection companies often provide updates to their software to address any vulnerabilities.
• Check out companies on BBB.org. Get information on BBB ratings, customer reviews and how any complaints were handled.

If you do experience an attempted scam, be sure to report it to BBB’s Scam Tracker.

Those who attended asked questions and commented after the presentation, sharing their personal experiences and what they should do in specific situations.

Caregivers, friends and family members play an important role

Caregivers and family can take the following steps to help spot potential scams:
• Check on seniors often
• Ask about their activities
• Look for unusual withdrawals or charges in accounts
• Other signs of trouble include:
-Excessive knickknacks or prizes
-Couriers rather than the Postal Service
-Frequent calls from a “nice” man or lady

Useful Links:

Do Not Call Registry: donotcall.gov
Better Business Bureau of Upstate New York: bbb.org/upstate-new-york
Scam Tracker: bbb.org/scamtracker/upstate-new-york
Federal Trade Commission: ftc.gov

Preventing senior scams in New York State

Clark discussed the recent “Can You Hear Me” phone scam.


NYS Senior scams

Seniors line up to register for the event.


Jun 13

Text scammers are at it again! Protect yourself with BBB information

Text scammers are at it again, this time, the target is KeyBank customers in Upstate New York.

Better Business Bureau of Upstate New York is again getting reports to our Scam Tracker about spam text messages, saying there is a problem with the user’s KeyBank account and that they need to call the number in the message.

BBB worked with Cody Holyoke from 6 News in Albany to warn the public of the scam.

Photo courtesy of cbs6albany.com


The same scam was going on in Rochester this time last year.

BBB reminds everyone to know the signs of a phishing scam:

  • If you get a text message, take a minute to do a little research.
  • Check the name of the bank. Do you have an account with that bank?
  • Verify the phone number. Is that really the bank’s number? The best way to find out is to check the back of a credit or debit card for a customer service number. If you are concerned, call that number first, not the number in the message.
  • Don’t click on a link. If the text message contains a link, do not click, it could contain malware.

KeyBank offers the following information for its customers:

  • Clients who provided card numbers or personal information should check their accounts and report any authorized transactions by contacting the KeyBank Fraud & Disputes Hotline, 1-800-433-0124.
  • For more information, visit KeyBank’s Privacy and Security page, key.com/security.

For more on avoiding phishing scams, visit bbb.org/phishingscam.


May 12

Marshall Exteriors named winner of BBB’s Torch Award

 Marshall Exteriors, based in Newark, NY is one of this year’s Torch Award recipients.
The Torch Award is the highest recognition given to area businesses by BBB.

Adam Olschewske opened Marshall Exteriors in 2000 with one employee, himself. Over the past 17 years, Olschewske grew the company from the trunk of his car to a 12,500 SQ. ft. facility in Newark. “Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think that it would grow from the trunk of my car with 2 bloody thumbs and a hammer to accepting this honor from BBB,” said Olschewske.

Marshall Exteriors owner Adam Olschewske (left) accepts the Torch Award for Ethics from BBB President Warren Clark.

“BBB is proud to honor Adam and Marshall Exteriors with the 2017 Torch Award for Ethics,” said Warren Clark, president and CEO. “Marshall Exteriors was selected by an independent panel of judges based on an extensive application process. Marshall Exteriors exemplifies what BBB stands for: Ethics and trustworthiness in the marketplace.”

BBB’s Torch Award for Ethics seeks to elevate and celebrate the commitment made by for-profit and nonprofit enterprises to the highest standards of leadership character and organizational ethics. The award spotlights the practices of companies that generate a high level of trust among their employees, customers, and their communities. An independent judging committee reviewed each application received by BBB and scored each business to identify the winners.


May 02

ConServe named a winner of BBB’s 2017 Torch Award

ConServe, a Fairport-based accounts receivable management company is the winner of the Better Business Bureau’s 2017 Torch Award for Ethics in the large business category.

About the Torch Award

Better Business Bureau of Upstate New York’s Torch Award for Ethics celebrates companies that make the commitment to the highest standards of leadership, character, and ethics. The award spotlights organizations that generate a high level of trust among their employees, customers, and their communities.

BBB staff and President Warren Clark traveled to Fairport to meet with ConServe CEO Mark Davitt, Rochester Chamber of Commerce President Bob Duffy and the entire ConServe team to present the award.

“BBB is proud to honor ConServe with the 2017 Torch Award for Ethics,” said Warren Clark, president and CEO of BBB of Upstate New York. “ConServe was selected by an independent panel of judges based on an extensive application process. ConServe exemplifies what BBB stands for: Ethics and trustworthiness in the marketplace.”

About ConServe
ConServe is a top-performing award-winning provider of accounts receivable management services specializing in customized recovery solutions for our Clients. Anchored with ethics and compliance, and steadfast in our pursuit of excellence, we are a consumer-centric organization that operates as an extension of our Client’s valued brand.  For over 30 years, we have partnered with our Clients to give them peace of mind while simultaneously helping them achieve their goals. Ethics. Technology. Performance.


Apr 24

Cyber Security in the Workplace

If your business experienced a cyber security threat or a data breach, would you know what to do?

Join Better Business Bureau of Upstate New York, AT&T, ASIS, U.S Attorney’s Office, Erie County Law Enforcement Foundation, Hilbert College, Lawley, Crime Stoppers, and Lincoln Archives for “Cyber Security in the Workplace” May 17, 2017 at Hilbert College in Hamburg, New York, 8 a.m.-noon.

This event will feature experts speaking on how to protect your business, cyber security insurance, electronic file destruction, and more.

Businesses large and small can be targeted in these attacks. Find out how to protect yourself and know the warning signs. Don’t miss this important event!

Cyber security event Buffalo NY

Join us May 17, 2017 8 a.m.-noon at:

Hilbert College
Bogel Hall, Room 101
5200 South Park Ave.
Hamburg, NY 14075

Register for “Cyber Security in the Workplace.”

Or view the event flier.


Apr 24

BBB at the Greater Olean Home Show

Better Business Bureau of Upstate New York attended our last home show of the season in Olean April 7. It was wonderful to meet with some businesses we haven’t seen before and present them with plaques. We were proud to sponsor the show and promote the Accredited Businesses there.

Thank you to our Accredited Businesses for you support at the show.

Braymiller Builders

Cellino Plumbing

Cutco Ka-Bar Visitors Center

Dr. Green Lawn/Custom Turf

Enchanted Mountain Drafting


LeafFilter North of New York

Maple Leaf Contracting

Twin Tiers Contracting

Whistle Stop Feed Shop


Apr 04

BBB at the Rochester Home & Garden Show

Better Business Bureau of Upstate New York visited with Accredited Businesses at the Rochester Home & Garden Show March 25 and 26. Our booth was set up to show attendees which businesses are accredited and why it’s good to look for an Accredited Business when thinking about home improvement projects. We also handed out RFID sleeves to protect credit cards from electronic scanners.

Thank you to the following Accredited Businesses for your support at the show:

Access Lifts & Ramps

Ace Swim

Admar Construction Equipment & Supplies

Albright Remodeling Inc.

Apex Window Films

Bath Fitter of Rochester

Best Tile

Betlem Residential Heating & Air Conditioning

Brockman Tree & Lawn Care

Cameron Roofing

Champion Windows

Comprehensive Mold Management

Crossfield Heating and Air Conditioning Inc.

Custom Window Treatments By Theresa

Design Pool & Spa Ltd

Doctor Electric

Everdry Waterproofing of Upstate New York

Fitch Construction, Inc.

G&G Window Repair

Geotherm Inc.

Graves Bros Home Improvement Co.


Hamilton Building Services

Harman Flooring Co. Inc.

Hawkeye Glass Block & Basement

Highland Contractors

Holbrook Heating Inc.

Home Comfort/EnergySmartNY.com

Home Power Systems, LLC

Homes by Design Inc.

Isaac Home and Air Conditioning

John Betlem Heating & Cooling, Inc.

Keystone Custom Decks

Marshall Exteriors

Miracle Method of Greece

Modern Windows

Monkey Bars Garage Storage & Flooring

N Hance of Western New York

Neverwet Basement Waterproofing

Nichols Electrical Contracting, inc.

Nu-Look Cabinet Refacing

Outdoor Lighting Perspectives

Pace Window and Doors

Patio Enclosures

Pella of WNY

R & W Paving

RAC for Women

Renewal by Anderson

Rochester Bath & Kitchen Remodeling

Rochester Colonial

Rochester Glass Block

Rochester Linoleum & Carpet One

Seamless Gutters & Supply Co.

Taylor Heating, Inc.

The Roofing Guys

Tracey Door Company

Travel Resorts Of America

Trinity Home Renovations

True Energy Solutions

Turnbull Heating & Air Conditioning

Upstate Alarm LLC

Van Hee Mechanical

Vekton Corporation

Wonder Windows

Yorkstate Roofing Services


Mar 30

BBB at the CNY Home and Garden Show

Home show season continued for Better Business Bureau of Upstate New York March 16-19 at the CNY Home and Garden Show in Syracuse. Held at the New York State Fairgrounds, the event attracted visitors and businesses from Central New York and beyond.

BBB had the opportunity to visit with more than 70 Accredited Businesses and used signs to encourage consumers to visit those businesses.

Home improvement season is getting closer, and attendees were able to visit businesses to get project ideas and get one step closer to making them a reality.

Thank you to the following Accredited Businesses for your support at the show:
AAA Exterminators- The Critter Ridders
American Homes
Apex Solar Power
Arrow Fence
Atlas Fence
Barden Building Systems
Barry Best Seamless Gutters
Basement Waterproofing
Bath Fitter
Berkshire Hathaway CNY Realty
Best Tile Distributors
Busch Products, Inc.
C. Michael Exteriors, Inc.
Classic Cozy & Carpentry
CleanWay Systems – Indoor Environmental Services
CNY Home Improvements
CNY Solar, Inc.
Comfort Windows
Concrete Renovators
Countryside Stove & Chimney
Crown Construction
CSM Finishing
Cutco Cutlery
Energy Savers
Falso Service Experts
GrandView Home Enhancements
Hawkeye Glass Block & Basement Solutions
Holbrook Heating, Inc.
Home Power Systems
Isaac Heating & AC
Kitchen Tune Up
Lawn-a-Mat of Syracuse
LeafFilter Gutter Protection
Mid-Atlantic Waterproofing
Murtaugh Restorations Inc.
Nationwide Lifts
Neverwet Basement Waterproofing
Next Building
Nickels Energy Solutions, LLC
Nu-Look Cabinet Refacing
Olum’s Appliances/Olum’s Furniture
Overhead Door Company of Auburn/Syracuse
Pace Windows and Doors
Preferred Exteriors and Renovations, Inc.
Prime Heating and Air, LLC
Roma Tile
Seamless Gutter & Supply
Sit Means Sit Syracuse
Sleep Number
Sunesta Awnings/Barry Best
Sunspace Sunrooms
Superior Insulation
Superior Seal & Paving, Inc.
Syracuse Dog Fence
TAG Mechanical
The Roofing Guys, Inc.
True Color CNY
Tyler Construction Services
Wayne-Dalton of Syracuse
Wet Basement Solutions, LLC
Wilcox Basement Systems, Inc.
Woodford Bros., Inc.



Mar 17

BBB at the Buffalo Home Show

Better Business Bureau of Upstate New York visited with Accredited Businesses at our biggest home show of the year so far. The Buffalo Home Show was held March 3-5 and 10-12 at the Buffalo Niagara Convention Center.

Tens of thousands of people visited the show as a kickoff to the home improvement and outdoor season. Contractors, landscapers, pool companies and more, all showed off their work and answered questions for potential customers.

Thank you to the following BBB Accredited Businesses for attending!

A Best, Inc.
A-1 Concrete Leveling
AAA Timberline
Adams Door Co., Inc.
ADT Security Services
All Star Energy/Home Comfort
Allegany Mountain Resort
Amherst Alarm, Inc.
ARB Heating & Cooling
Bath Fitter
Beauty Pools
Best Antiques
Black Rock Roofing, Inc.
Braendel Painting
Braymiller Builders
Buffalo Glass Block
Buffalo Hardwood Floor Center
Buffalo Niagara Association of Realtors
Buffalo Solar Solutions
Capital Heat, Inc.
Carpet Factory Outlet
CertaPro Painters of WNY
CIR Electrical Construction-Solar
Classic Home Improvements, Inc.
Colley’s Pools
Collingwood Construction Corp.
Comfort Windows
Concrete Innovations
Cortese Construction
Culligan Water
Custom Carpet Centers
Custom Interiors Kitchen & Bath
Custom Turf
Cutco Cutlery
D.H. Berry, Inc.
Decks By Design
Designer Pools
Direct Security Systems
Doyle Security
Everdry Waterproofing
Felgemacher Masonry
Fiorella’s Landscaping & Snowplowing
First Buffalo Total Basement Finishing
Frank’s Basement Systems
G & G Fitness Equipment, Inc.
Grassman Lawn & Landscape
Hamburg Overhead Door, Inc.
Hart To Hart Industries, Inc.
Heatwave Heating & Cooling, Inc.
Indoor Air Professionals, Inc.
International Stone Gallery
IQ Modular Homes, Inc.
Isaac Heating & Air Conditioning
Ivy Lea Construction
Jameson Electric, Heating & Air
K-9 Connection
Kohler Awning, Inc.
Lakeside Sod Supply Co.
LeafFilter Gutter Protection
Leveled Contracting, Inc.
Mario Tile
Mesi Agency, Inc.
Metro Mattress Corp.
Miracle Method
Modern Windows of NY, Inc.
Mr. Plumber Heating & Cooling
Munro Products
National Fuel Gas Distribution Corporation
National Overhead Door, Inc.
Neverwet Basement Waterproofing
Niagara Hardwood Center
Northeast Mechanical, Inc.
Paint of WNY
Parise Mechanical
Pella Of WNY
Phoenix Home Improvement
Picket Fence and Exteriors, Inc.
Pollard Windows
Pool Brite, Inc.
Premier Kitchen Cabinet Refacing
Pro Kitchen Renovation
Property Optics Irrigation & Lighting
Raynor Doors
Realty Smith
Recreational Warehouse
Renewal By Andersen
Ridge Overhead Door of North Tonawanda
Satellite Solutions
Seibold Construction, Inc.
Shield Security Systems
Siegel Landscape & Drainage
Stockmohr Company, Inc.
Stonish Lawn Care & Snowplowing
Sun Enterprises Sheds
Sunbeam Service Experts
Sunroom Additions & Improvements, Inc.
Sunset Custom Homes, Inc.
Switala’s Construction
The Buffalo News
The Gutter People Of WNY, Inc.
The Kaz Companies
The Vinyl Outlet
Universal Windows Direct
Utech Basement Waterproofing
Vintage Vibe
Watercure USA
Williamstown Construction Co., Inc./Superior Insulation
Wonder Windows
Zenner & Ritter Home Services


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