BBB: Military families and veterans more likely to lose money to scams

Service members, military spouses and veterans all reported higher likelihoods of losing money and higher median dollar losses to scammers, according to the 2020 BBB Scam Tracker Risk Report. The study published by the BBB Institute for Marketplace Trust (BBB Institute), analyzes scams reported to BBB Scam Tracker. Veterans reported a median loss of $133, military spouses reported a median loss of $132, and active duty service members reported a median loss of $269 – all of which were higher than the $115 median loss reported across all consumers in 2020.

“Historically, we’ve seen higher median losses reported by the military community,” says Melissa Trumpower, BBB Institute Executive Director. “2020 was the first year, however, that we also saw higher rates of military consumers losing money to fraudsters.”


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The loss reported across all consumers was 46.4%. Veterans reported a slightly higher loss at 46.8%. Military families reported the highest loss at 50.8% for military spouses and 59.7% for service members.

“The biggest factor contributing to these higher likelihoods of loss across the board was the increase of online purchase scams and scams perpetrated online in general,” says Trumpower. 

Online purchase scams were the riskiest scam for service members and veterans but the riskiest items purchased online were pets and pet supplies. The riskiest scam for military spouses in 2020 was employment scams. This included flexible, work-from-home opportunities found online that often involved fake check or reshipment scams. In the BBB Pacific Southwest region, online purchase and employment scams topped the list reported by active duty military and veteran consumers, with a total of just over $180k combined loss in 2020, according to BBB Scam Tracker. 

“We continue to work with our partners to combat scams that target the military and share prevention messaging through BBBs serving communities throughout North America,” Trumpower said. To learn more about BBB’s Military and Veterans Initiative, visit BBB.org/Military.

Reprinted by permission of the Better Business Bureau, © 2021.

KNTR Talk Hosts in Top 4 of “Talkers Heavy Hundred”

KNTR Talk has the first four of the Top 5 talk shows in the 2021 Talkers Magazine Heavy Hundred!!

Congratulations to Sean Hannity, who held onto the #1 slot.

That’s why KNTR 106.3 – Voice of the Free – is also “The Talk of the Tri-State.” Thanks for helping to make us the most listened to Talk Radio station in the Tri-State area!!

For the complete 2021 Talker Heavy Hundred list, CLICK HERE.

Congratulations to our hosts who also made the list!!



2021 Torch Awards for Ethics Finalists

BBB Serving the Pacific Southwest Announces 2021 Torch Awards for Ethics Finalists

22 Greater Arizona companies honored with esteemed recognition

Better Business Bureau Serving the Pacific Southwest (BBB) proudly announces 22 Greater Arizona companies as finalists for the 2021 BBB Torch Awards for Ethics. The event is sponsored by Desert Financial Credit Union and raises awareness in marketplace ethics and recognizes businesses that operate with the highest levels of integrity.

BBB Torch Awards for Ethics is one of the highest honors BBB bestows upon a company and is designed to highlight outstanding ethical businesses. The following finalists completed an evaluation where they demonstrated their commitment to ethics and trust in four categories: Character, Culture, Customers and Community.

“Honesty builds trust, which is a vital aspect in the success of a business. For 19 years, BBB has been recognizing outstanding companies in Greater Arizona for their solid commitment to doing things the right way,” said Shelley Bradley, Director of Signature Events for BBB Serving the Pacific Southwest.

“This esteemed award recognizes business leaders who demonstrate a superior level of character and ensure their organization’s practices meet the highest ethical standards, thereby generating trust,” continued Bradley.

2021 Greater Arizona BBB Torch Awards for Ethics Finalists:

Category 1: Employees 1-5

Category 2: Employees 6-10

Category 3: Employees 11-50

Category 4: Employees 51-149

Category 5: Employees 150+

Five winners, one from each category, will be announced at the in-person signature event on November 17 at 6 p.m. at the Arizona Biltmore in Phoenix. Finalists, winners and judges will also be celebrated through a visual digital campaign on BBB’s social media channels. For a complete list of this year’s BBB Torch Awards for Ethics Finalists visit torchawards.bbbcommunity.org.

Reprinted by permission of the Better Business Bureau, © 2021.

Selling Your Home for Quick Cash? Not so Fast!

If you own a home, you may have received offers or seen advertisements promising to buy it quickly and for cash. Selling a home is a time-consuming process, and the promise of a quick close is tempting. However, it’s important to understand the difference between selling your home to a traditional buyer and making a deal with a home investor, sometimes called an opportunity investor. Better Business Bureau Serving the Pacific Southwest (BBB) shares these quick tips to stay safe and informed, with the full article on our website.


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Professional home investors make offers to sellers who are willing to sacrifice profit in exchange for a faster and simpler sale process. In recent years, iBuyers have emerged too – internet companies who use algorithms and proprietary valuation data to make no-obligation, all-cash offers to sellers. BBB recommends the following tips to help you find the right kind of buyer for your home and avoid getting scammed.

 

What to Consider Before Selling Your Home to a Home Investor

  • Think about your time constraints. With traditional home sales, buyers can require a 45-day escrow period, but home investors can usually close in a month or less and iBuyers can give homeowners a tentative offer within 24 to 48 hours and close in as little as a week.
  • Determine how much profit you need to make. The biggest con of working with a home investor or iBuyer is that you will almost always get a lower offer than you would from a traditional buyer. Traditional buyers may be willing to pay even more than market value for a home they’ve fallen in love with, while home investors are buying your home solely as an investment.
  • Factor in prep work. When marketing your home to traditional buyers, you’ll need to do a fair amount of prep work. When you sell to an investor, you won’t need to invest time and money into this kind of prep-work.
  • Research investing companies before you do business with them. Always look up businesses on org before you share personal information or agree to services with them.
  • Don’t fall victim to a home investor scam. Scammers prey on a seller’s desire to make a quick sale by offering deals that seem too good to be true. Ask plenty of questions and don’t settle for vague answers. Never give money to an investor before the closing date. Complete all transactions through a closing or escrow agent and don’t let anyone pressure you into making payments “off the books.”
  • Consider your alternatives. If you aren’t pressed for time, consider working with a full-service brokerage. You can also think about renting your home for an amount that covers your mortgage payments or setting up a lease-to-own agreement.

For more information read BBB’s tips on hiring a real estate agent.

Value

BBB encourages businesses to operate with integrity, and helps consumers make wise marketplace decisions. Our innovative approach to business growth provides the tools that companies and entrepreneurs need to build better businesses. By working side by side with industry experts, we unite with a common goal. Become BBB Accredited and join our mission to create a community of trust.

More Information

For media inquiries, contact pr@bbbcommunity. Please allow a 24 hour courtesy for interview requests. For additional news stories, visit bbb.org/us/news. Published with permission from Better Business Bureau.

BBB: Valuing People Over Profit

BBB Business Tip:

Valuing people over profit means long-term success

Your employees are at the heart of your small business. Every day, they help support your company’s mission and do their part in building its success. However, the most important role your employees have is their role in your company culture. Corporate culture is essential to nearly every aspect of your business’s long-term success, from the quality of the talent you hire, to the loyalty of your customers.

According to a study by Duke University, more than 94% of executives stated that a distinct business culture is important to business success. The same study reported that 84% of employees and 83% of executives believed that engaged and motivated employees were the top factor that contributed to a company’s success. It’s well worth your time to invest in recruiting talented, driven employees who are committed to helping your business thrive and improving your company culture.

What is company culture?

Company culture is an overarching term that encompasses the collective beliefs, values, attitudes, and behaviors of a business. A company’s culture shows through the various interactions between employees and the decisions that they make daily.

To better understand what company culture entails, it’s helpful to break it down into key elements. Some of the most defining aspects of a business’s culture include the following:

  • Leadership style
  • Company mission
  • Goals
  • Expectations
  • Values and ethics

When all of these elements are in harmony, a business is often perceived to have a positive culture. Another common sign of excellent company culture is high employee engagement. Great employees who are eager to help out almost always belong to a culture that actively fosters their growth and success.

How a great company culture contributes to long-term success

If you’re determined to improve your company’s success in the long run, building a better company culture is a great place to start.

Some of the most significant long-term benefits of improving your company culture:

Better talent

When you’re intentional about improving your company culture, others will start paying attention. A business filled with enthusiastic, dedicated employees is sure to capture the attention of outsiders. Once they take note of your thriving community, they’ll naturally want to be a part of it as well. Getting potential job candidates to take an interest in your business is crucial. The more applicants you recruit, the greater chance you will attract highly talented workers to your company.

Higher employee retention

Not only does a better company culture attract more employees, but it also encourages them to stay loyal to your business. Research has shown that 63% of employees who were “always” or “usually” recognized at work considered themselves very unlikely to seek a new job in the next 3-6 months. When you build a stronger company culture, you recognize your employees for what they do, making them less likely to leave your company.

Greater revenue

Better company culture will also help bring in more revenue in the long run. Businesses with highly engaged employees showed 21% more profitability, according to Gallup. These businesses thrive because their employees are happily going above and beyond to satisfy their customers. Additionally, satisfied customers are more likely to recommend your business to friends and family, which directly boosts revenue.

Increased productivity

Your employees benefit directly from their environment. If you create a company culture that supports your workers’ goals, they will be eager to put more effort into their work. Likewise, happy employees tend to show up on time and take fewer days off — engaged employees result in a 40% reduction in absenteeism. The more employees show up every day and give it their all, the higher your daily output will be.

Better reputation

Customers make many of their decisions based on the way they perceive a company. If your business’s culture is strong enough to convince buyers to invest in your products or services, you’ll have a higher chance of earning a positive reputation. This reputation is essential to attracting more customers who can spread the word about your business. Also, you’ll likely see a more significant number of job candidates taking an interest in your organization if you put the work into improving your company culture.

Nourish your business’s success with a better company culture

The long-term success of your business is highly dependent on its culture. By fostering a more supportive work environment for all of your employees, you can help your company grow in many ways. Not only will you have a greater likelihood of attracting the right candidates, but you’ll also attract the interest of new customers. Each of these positive effects can improve your business’s reputation and increase your profit in the long run.

BBB of Southern Piedmont and Western N.C. contributed this article.

Value

BBB encourages businesses to operate with integrity, and helps consumers make wise marketplace decisions. Our innovative approach to business growth provides the tools that companies and entrepreneurs need to build better businesses. By working side by side with industry experts, we unite with a common goal. Become BBB Accredited and join our mission to create a community of trust.

More Information

For media inquiries, contact pr@bbbcommunity. Please allow a 24 hour courtesy for interview requests. For additional news stories, visit bbb.org/us/news. Published with permission from Better Business Bureau.