Dennis Horton, Director of the Rockford Regional Office of the Better Business Bureau (BBB), joined the WROK Morning Show this week with a stack of information on ways to avoid being scammed, and some somewhat good news about robocalls.

With unemployment numbers being crazy high, a lot of people have thought to themselves that now would be a great time to consider starting their own business, and have gone out and done just that. As Dennis Horton points out in our interview, scam artists, being very aware of that fact, are looking to prey upon these new "novice business owners."

Some of the areas that scammer are looking to exploit include fake business advertising opportunities that eventually end up draining a business owner's wallet, but not filling their business with customers. Dennis says that another way is through extortion, or even tricking people into paying to have their business name trademarked. Many don't realize that trademarking is something you can take care of yourself without relying on a 3rd party to do it (while they charge you an fee and then don't get the job done).

As far as robocalls go, Dennis says while the overall numbers of robocalls (in the billions here in the U.S.) has gone down fairly significantly over the last year, it's not going to last long. Why have robocalls decreased over the last year? For much the same reason you might not have been allowed to go to work---lockdowns. It seems that some phone-based scammers weren't able to go where they normally go to work their criminal magic, and the volume of calls went down. With the country on track to open back up again, the prediction is that robocall volume is going to go way back up.

All of that, and an explanation of why you should never, ever pay anyone for anything with a gift card:

 

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