Senior Fraud Education
The Mission of the Senior Fraud Program is to assist seniors in recognizing and resisting fraudulent offerings and possible scams. The Senior Fraud Program has the following Goals: •Ongoing consumer and community awareness to the prevention of Senior Fraud. •To assist and advise senior citizens on business rights and practices. •To work closely with the many different agencies, senior centers, and businesses that serve the Senior population.BBB Senior Fraud representatives give lectures and classes to educate seniors of the latest frauds and scams as well as providing information to help protect identities.
BBB Military Line provides consumer education and advocacy for military consumers and their families, both in their communities and online. Our experience shows that military personnel are frequently the victims of unethical and unscrupulous business practices. They are young, often inexperienced, consumers whose salaries can be counted on to arrive twice a month, and are a very attractive target for scam artists and other aggressive promoters. Common practices directed at service members include: short-term loans at rates that may exceed 500% APR; expensive and unnecessary insurance sales; auto sales that charge exorbitant interest on already-overpriced vehicles; real estate “deals” that result in high rates of foreclosure; and worthless “work-at-home” offers. In order to reduce the number of military personnel falling victim to these predatory practices, BBB Military Line training is presented by the BBB serving Central Virginia. The BBB has a memorandum of agreement with the DOD and is a partner in the DoD Financial Readiness Campaign.
Charity Information Services
BBB Wise Giving Alliance’s mission is to help donors give with confidence by evaluating charities against 20 rigorous accountability standards and strengthen trust in the charitable sector. Locally, BBB serves that mission by evaluating organizations in our service area actively soliciting donations from the public based on the 20 Standards for Charity Accountability. BBB Charity Reports provide potential donors with an accessible overview of local nonprofits, summarize mission, program activities, leadership and finances, and demonstrate their commitment to ethics and transparency. Our goal is to assist all charities that wish to meet the standards and to establish a framework of trust between donors and nonprofit organizations.
Outsmarting Investment Fraud
BBB and FINRA (Financial Industry Regulatory Authority) have partnered together to educate consumers about investment fraud. Fraudsters tend to go "where the money is" - and that means targeting older Americans who are nearing or already in retirement. This powerpoint presentation leads with a message of prevention by teaching consumers to recognize persuasion tactics and the psychology of a scam. Research shows 20% reported being misled or defrauded. 80% of them did not report it to anyone due to a level of embarrassment and a concern for losing independence. Our goal is to give our consumers the tools to first recognize the red flags, ask the right questions, know how to check and verify information and then finally discuss with friends and family if they feel they may have become a victim.
In Pursuit of Ethics
In Pursuit of Ethics is an interactive training program offered to our community of students and businesses that uses real-life situations to create in-depth discussions of ethics issues. Video modules are played that will set up an ethical dilemma for school and workplace situations. According to a 2012 study by the Josephson Institute of Ethics Report Card on American Youth 51% of students admitted to had cheated on an exam in the past year. When faced with an ethical choice most people know the right thing to do. However, complications of ego or personal gain can cloud judgement which will allow people to rationalize their way to making an unethical choice. By helping participants understand how their own decisions and actions have consequences, this program promotes real world rewards of establishing a good reputation.