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April Fool’s or Harmful Fraud?

April Fool's or Harmful Fraud? - The Beacon


By: Susan

April Fool’s or Harmful Fraud?

Many of us enjoy a good joke or can appreciate a harmless prank, but what happens when the “joke’s on you” turns to identity theft or financial loss? Your Tri-State BBB® offers dos and don’ts to avoid being fooled by a scam.

Don’t get emotional – The better the story, the easier it is to convince someone to participate in a scam. Avoid heartwrenching tales with urgent need and if a relative calls in a desperate situation, ask questions first that only they would be able to answer, to confirm their identity.

Don’t worry about being rude – If a stranger calls asking for personal information or is applying high pressure during a call, hang up and don’t feel bad. You can always call and verify with companies or organizations directly if you feel a call could have some validity. Scammers are full of excuses and stories, so hanging up quickly can stop them in their tracks.

Do be careful with your curiosity – That celebrity story or viral video on Facebook may lead to a dangerous virus. Be careful online; avoid pop-ups on your computer and free trial offers or surveys. Also be sure to change passwords periodically and keep anti-virus software up to date on your computer.

Don’t give away your trust – Not everyone is trustworthy and there are many scammers out there looking for victims to con. Before deciding to commit, learn more about businesses with a free BBB Business Review. You can also learn more about charitable organizations with a free BBB Charity Report. Both can be found at

Do ask for help – Fraudsters know that they have a better opportunity with those who are isolated, live on their own, or don’t seek the opinion or help of others. Consumers of all different ages, backgrounds and education levels have been the victims of fraud, so never feel that your questions are invalid or are not worthy of concern.

Your Tri-State BBB is always happy to help consumers in need and can be reached at 812-473-0202.

For more information you can trust, visit

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Susan is Director of Media Relations for the Tri-State Better Business Bureau. She is a contributor to the blog as well as to the online News Center, found at Susan also helps to produce an annual accredited business recognition banquet.