COLORADO SPRINGS — It’s a tool aimed at helping us to learn about and fight back against scams, the Better Business Bureau Scam Tracker. Now, the consumer protection organization has secured some big investors and is rolling out what they say is a new and improved system.
For the last five years Alexxis Barton has been working to help protect consumers at the Better Business Bureau of Southern Colorado.
”I’ve spoken to people on the phone who are just devastated. Some people lose a couple hundred bucks which is still terrible and I’ve talked to people who have lost their life savings to scammers, hundreds of thousands of dollars, or they’ve taken out loans to pay these people,” said Barton.
BBB’s Scam Tracker is a tool Barton uses to track and research scam experiences reported by consumers in our area.
”I still hear stories from locals and from consumers that I’m like wow I’ve never heard anything like that before. So, scammers continue to innovate and change things up and change the way they are doing things,” said Barton.
This month the Scam Tracker got its first upgrade since 2015. Amazon and Capital One made big investments to make it happen, hoping it can help their companies fight fraud too.
”They really need consumer’s help to get into their own system and shut down the fraud and scams going on within Amazon” said Paul Myers-Bennet, one of the leaders of BBB of Southern Colorado. ”Fraud takes a hit on credit cards and so they are going to be approached anytime someone’s been frauded and used their Capital One credit card. They want to get out in front of it and stop these frauds and scams before they happen.”
The BBB of Southern Colorado hopes people will utilize the Scam Tracker’s new features, including a social media component.
”If you see something, or you report a scam, or you were targeted by a scam and you look it up on Scam Tracker and say oh my gosh thank goodness I looked this up, you can share it on social media and warn others,” said Barton.
Both law enforcement and consumer protection agencies say fraud and scams are generally under-reported, usually because victims feel ashamed or embarrassed about it.
Barton says she hopes people will take the time to report their experiences through the new and improved Scam Tracker because every report deserves attention.
”We are researching every scam tracker report. So, not only could you be preventing someone else from getting scammed, but you have a place to put this information where you know someone is going to look into it,” said Barton.
Another area of improvement expected to help increase scam reporting is a more user friendly cell phone display to help people make reports from the palm of their hand.
The BBB announced the following improvements:
- It is now easier for consumers to report scams via mobile or desktop
- It now includes a new guided questionnaire that makes it quick and easy to report a scam
- Consumers can now review and edit their reports before submission, and then share the report with friends and family via social media or email
- They also have the option to receive updates about the constantly evolving tactics that scammers use
- An upgraded search function enables consumers to search scams in the tool by URL, email address, phone number and more
Access the BBB Scam Tracker here:
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