Website, blog and social media campaign hopes to reach millions with
tips to avoid being ripped off by scammers
ENGLEWOOD, Colo.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--
The Western Union Company (NYSE: WU), a leader in global payment
services, and Better Business Bureau today launched BBB
Scam Stopper, an education campaign to help consumers in the United
States and Canada avoid common scams that con artists use to commit
“Western Union devotes extensive resources to stopping fraud,” said
Shelley Bernhardt, the company’s Director of Consumer Protection. “Our
agents are trained to intervene if they suspect a customer is the victim
of a scam. Through our partnership with BBB, we aim to give consumers
the information and resources they need to protect themselves and help
stop fraud before it gets that far.”
Consumer fraud is a serious problem worldwide. According to the Federal
Trade Commission, in the U.S. alone, more than 100 thousand people filed
complaints in 2011 about prizes, sweepstakes and lottery scams. That is
just one of the many categories of scams consumers face around the world.
“We investigate thousands of scams every year, and we know the tactics
that scammers commonly use,” said Carrie Hurt, President and CEO of the
Council of Better Business Bureaus. “A portion of scams involves the
wire transfer of funds, so Western Union is the ideal partner for this
campaign. The best defense against fraud is awareness and education.
It’s crucial for consumers and business owners to recognize scams before
they become victims.”
On the Scam Stopper website, consumers can find facts and tips to stay
informed and help reduce their chances of becoming a victim of a scam.
The site also explains the science of scams, and how scammers use many
of the same “sales tactics” that are used by legitimate businesses.
Visitors can also sign up to receive BBB Scam Alerts, weekly
emails with the latest scams reported to BBBs across the country.
The site highlights common scams like Emergency Scams (a friend or
family member has an emergency, often in another country, and needs
money), Overpayment Scams (a buyer overpays and asks for the difference
wired back to them), Sweepstakes and Lottery Scams (you’ve won a lot of
money, but you have to pre-pay taxes before claiming your prize), and
more. Personal finance writer/blogger Erica Sandberg has also joined the
effort and is blogging and creating public service announcements about
scams and fraud for BBB Scam Stopper.
Information on scams and how to protect yourself is also available at
Western Union’s Consumer Protection Center: http://www.westernunion.com/stopfraud.
About Western Union
The Western Union Company (NYSE: WU) is a leader in global payment
services. Together with its Vigo, Orlandi Valuta, Pago Facil and Western
Union Business Solutions branded payment services, Western Union
provides consumers and businesses with fast, reliable and convenient
ways to send and receive money around the world, to send payments and to
purchase money orders. As of June 30, 2012, the Western Union, Vigo and
Orlandi Valuta branded services were offered through a combined network
of approximately 510,000 agent locations in 200 countries and
territories. In 2011, The Western Union Company completed 226 million
consumer-to-consumer transactions worldwide, moving $81 billion of
principal between consumers, and 425 million business payments. For more
information, visit www.westernunion.com.
For 100 years, Better Business Bureau has been helping consumers find
businesses, brands and charities they can trust. In 2011, consumers
turned to BBB more than 100 million times for Business Reviews on more
than 4 million companies and Charity Reports on 11,000 charities, all
available for free at www.bbb.org.
The Council of Better Business Bureaus is the umbrella organization for
115 local, independent BBBs across the United States and Canada, as well
as home to its national programs on dispute resolution and industry
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Source: Western Union Company