BBB Alert: Watch Out for Hot Summer Scams

Summer is one of the busiest times for concerts, summer rentals, and outdoor activities. It’s also one of the busiest times for scammers because they know people are looking to spend money on summer fun, especially when a good deal is involved.
“Whether you’re planning a summer vacation, buying tickets to see your favorite artist or working on home repairs this summer, scammers are locked into seasonal trends,” says Steve J. Bernas, president and CEO of the Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and Northern Illinois. “It’s so important to do careful research before paying for anything or providing personal or financial information.
Better Business Bureau Serving Chicago and Northern Illinois is warning consumers to keep an eye out for these top sizzling summer scams:
1)    Concert/Festival Fake Tickets 
2)    Door-to-Door 
3)    Summer Vacation and Travel
4)    Summer Jobs 
5)    Moving Scams 
Concert and festival tickets
Tickets for a full list of indoor and outdoor summer concerts are hot. But before you look into purchasing, be aware of phony sellers and ticket scams.
BBB recommends: Check for top rated ticket sellers on or buy only directly from the venue. Never has it been easier for scammers to make very real looking counterfeits.
Red flags:
  • Tickets sold on unsecure third-party sites rather than the venue or festival website.
  • Sellers who share sad tales of why they have to sell their tickets.
  • Anyone requesting a money transfer as payment.
  • Pressure to buy tickets fast
  • Too good to be true prices.
Door-to-door sales
Warmer weather brings everyone outdoors, including door-to-door salesmen. Complaints are rolling into the BBB Scam Tracker warning of fake utility workers, shoddy repair or landscapers, fake air conditioning and home alarm inspectors.
Red flags:
  • Someone shows up on your doorstep without an appointment.
  • All sales are done via cash, check or money transfer (not credit card).
  • There are no written warrantees or contracts.
  • You’re being pressured to purchase something on the spot.
Summer vacation and travel
This time of year, fraudulent travel agents and scam sites pop up offering cut-rate vacation discounts.
Red flags:
  • The company doesn’t have a physical address or phone number, and the only way to make contact is through a website.
  • There are multiple spelling and grammar errors on the website
  • The price seems to be too good to be true.
  • Travel booking is only available via funds transfer, check, cash or gift cards.
* Also, be leery of calls, emails texts or social media ads or offers of free/discounted vacations or timeshares. Always check the company out first on or with another third-party source before sharing your personal information with anyone.
Summer jobs
Don’t let you summer job search end in disaster. Know how to discern if potential employers are out to steal your money, rather than help you make some. Checking the employer’s BBB Business Reviews is a good place to start your research.
Red flags:
  • The person hiring you says you must pay fees up-front for training materials or a background check. (Some education and other positions require you to pay for background checks only AFTER you have had an in-person interview and been offered a position with a contract.)
  • You receive an unsolicited job offer for a position you never applied for.
  • The employer doesn’t have a website or won’t share contact information with you.
  • The employer neglects to provide a written outline of the job description.
Moving scams
May is National Moving Month and opens the busiest season for moving with high activity continuing through September. To avoid falling victim to a moving scam, know what to look for.

Red flags:
  • You’re not offered a written contract to review.
  • The business does not provide insurance information.
  • The moving truck is unmarked or doesn’t match the business name.
  • The movers request an up-front deposit or only accept cash payment.
If you have been targeted by a scam, or are suspicious of an offer, file a report to  BBB Scam Tracker .  

BBB Alert: Watch Out for Hot Summer Scams
BBB Alert: Watch Out for Hot Summer Scams