10 New Year's resolutions for 2016 from the BBB

Posted at 9:41 AM, Jan 19, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-19 09:41:49-05
New Year’s resolutions are usually for personal growth in the new year and the Better Business Bureau (BBB) wants to help consumers make sure they don’t fall victim to any scams in 2016.
The BBB of Southeast Florida and the Caribbean has 10 resolutions that can help fight scammers, prevent identity theft and find trustworthy businesses and charities.
The first resolution is important as tax season approaches. Consumers need to be skeptical any anyone calling claiming to the IRS. The IRS doesn’t call people or email them to inform them of taxes or penalties due. Officials at the BBB say the IRS’ initial contact always is by letter.
The second resolution is warning people to always read the fine print, especially with “free” trial offers. Many consumers have complained to the BB about repeated charges to credit and debits from “free” trials. The BBB warns everyone to read the terms and condition.
The third resolution is to keep up-to-date with anti-virus software on your computer. Also don’t open attachments or click on links in emails unless the email address is from a trustworthy person or company.
The fourth resolution is a good reminder, especially to grandparents. The BBB reminds people never to wire money to a stranger. Many scams require that the victim wire money usually using MoneyGram, Western Union or Green Dot MoneyPak.  One thing to keep in mind is that once money is wired, it is nearly impossible to get it back.
The fifth resolution is stopping identity theft. It is recommended that everyone shred paper documents that include sensitive financial date and dispose of computers, cell phones and digital data safely.
The sixth resolution is for people wanting to manage their money better in 2016. The BBB offers ways to stay afloat in the new year and help in erasing debt. Click here for advice on how to create a budget.
The seventh resolution is fighting fake check fraud. New technology is allowing scammers to create professional-looking phony checks. The BBB warns people to be extremely wary of checks that come with claims that people have won a lottery, are eligible for a government grant or landed a job as a secret shopper. The BBB says almost all of those checks are part of a scam.
The eighth resolution comes in handy if consumers are planning any type of home important in 2016. The BBB reminds people to get everything in writing so there is no miscommunication and misunderstandings between what the consumer expects and what the business delivers.
The ninth resolution is asking the BBB for help. Consumers can file a complaint with the BBB here and help others avoid similar situations.
The last resolution is a reminder to do some research before donating to a charity or choosing a contractor. The BBB offers business reviews and charity reviews on its website. It also has the BBB Scam Tracker to help anyone who may have been a victim of a scam.