BBB Pacific Southwest shares tips for avoiding vacation and timeshare scams

 

Phoenix, AZ (June 4, 2024) – Timeshares and vacation clubs can be notorious for their high-pressure sales tactics. Vacationers, relaxed and often off-guard, can quickly find themselves committing to lifelong contracts that are easy to enter but difficult to escape.

As we near peak summer months, consumers may have more opportunities to attend a timeshare presentation while on vacation. BBB Pacific Southwest has received complaints across Arizona and Southern California from consumers regarding their timeshare sales experiences, claiming:

 

Misleading Sales Presentations:

  • Promises about booking availability and easy cancellation or resale.
  • Claims of increasing timeshare value.
  • Unexpected changes in monthly payments or maintenance fees.
  • Verbal promises or misrepresentations contrary to the reality of the service.

 

High-Pressure Sales Tactics:

  • Persistent pressure to buy despite multiple refusals.
  • “Today only” upgrade deals during lengthy presentations.
  • Encouraged to sign quickly without adequate contract review.

 

While some people enjoy positive experiences with their timeshares or vacation clubs, BBB shares the following tips to help consumers identify potential red flags and assist businesses in improving their practices.

  • Research carefully. Extensively investigate timeshare properties, vacation clubs or exit companies before working with them. Check BBB Business Profiles to view customer reviews, ratings and complaints that can help you make an informed decision.
  • Read before you sign. Thoroughly read contracts for language about lifetime commitment, heirs’ obligations, maintenance fee increases or guarantees. State laws vary on whether they allow buyers to exit timeshare agreements after signing, so research before. In the Pacific Southwest, check Arizona and California regulations.
  • Beware of high-pressure sales tactics. If you feel like someone is trying to push you into a deal, walk away. Free gifts may be offered to attend the presentation, which can be accepted without obligation to sign up for services.
  • Sell with the company you bought from. To sell a timeshare, contact the resort directly and see if they have a resale or buyback program.
  • Be realistic about what you can get for your timeshare. Most of these contracts are not investments and may return considerably less than you paid.
  • If it sounds too good to be true, it is. There are deals to be found on travel, but scammers know consumers want to save money and take advantage.
  • Don’t pay fees up front. Be wary of paying timeshare exit companies all fees up front until services are rendered.
  • Report it. If you suspect you may be the subject of fraud or dishonest business practices, report it to the BBB Scam Tracker.

 

BBB advises thorough research before engaging with any timeshare or exit company. Read reviews, obtain references, and investigate the company before signing a contract or making any payments.

Check with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) for additional resources on:

  • How To Handle Sales Presentations
  • What To Know Before You Commit
  • How To Avoid Timeshare Resale Scams
  • How To Avoid Timeshare Exit Scams
  • Buying Undeveloped Property and Timeshares in a Foreign Country
  • Reporting Timeshare Scams

About the Better Business Bureau Serving the Pacific Southwest.

Better Business Bureau (BBB) has empowered people to find businesses, brands, and charities they can trust for more than 110 years. In 2023, people turned to BBB more than 218 million times for BBB Business Profiles on 5.3 million businesses, and 80,000 times for BBB charity reports on about 12,000 charities, for free at BBB.org. The International Association of Better Business Bureaus is the umbrella organization for the local, independent BBBs in the United States, Canada and Mexico. Incorporated locally in 1938, BBB (NAME) serves Greater Arizona and Central and Southern California, providing critical tools to ignite success including mentorship, online products, coworking and access to capital. Our objective expertise educates the community on ethical behavior in the marketplace and how businesses can build trust.

 

Kryistyna Hook
Senior Director of Brand Strategies and Social Impact
kryistyna.hook@bbbcommunity.org  |  928.302.3701

 

Reprinted by permission of the Better Business Bureau, © 2024.

Shop with confidence on Earth Day: Avoid greenwashing and false sustainability claims

BBB Tip: How to shop with confidence like every day is Earth Day

(Phoenix, April 22, 2024) Earth Day is a time to focus on environmental responsibility, and for many consumers, that means making more conscious purchasing decisions. However, navigating the world of “green” products can be tricky. Companies often use misleading marketing tactics, making it difficult to differentiate between genuine eco-friendly products and those simply employing “greenwashing”—the act of misleading consumers regarding the environmental benefits of a product.

Confused by “green” claims? In honor of Earth Day, Better Business Bureau (BBB) is here to help you understand the difference between truly eco-friendly products and those simply making claims. Here’s how BBB helps you shop green with confidence:

  • Don’t be fooled by “Free Of” claims. Products labeled “free of” chemicals or toxins might seem safe, but dig deeper. Look for specifics – what exactly is absent? Does the product contain a different ingredient that carries similar risks? “Non-toxic” claims should also be substantiated. Is the product safe for humans and the environment?
  • “Less Waste” needs proof. Companies who claim their products generate less waste should provide substantiation. Look for concrete evidence: percentages of recycled materials used in packaging, comparisons to similar products, or specific waste reduction initiatives. A clear label is key. Statements like “package is made from 85% post-consumer recycled material” leaves no room for doubt.
  • Biodegradable vs. Compostable: Know the Difference. These terms are not interchangeable. “Biodegradable” products break down naturally, but not necessarily in a compost pile. “Compostable” products, on the other hand, are specifically designed to decompose quickly in a controlled environment. Always look for evidence supporting these claims.
  • Renewable Resources: Transparency is key. If a product boasts renewable materials, energy, or carbon offsets, find out the specifics. What percentage of the product falls into this category? Manufacturers should be upfront about these details.
  • Seals of Approval: Do your research. Official-looking seals can be misleading. Investigate the organization behind the seal and its meaning. Look for details on the packaging that explain the connection between the product and the certification. Reach out to BBB or research the organization to verify its legitimacy.

Look for verification that’s rooted in trust: The BBB4Good Trustmark

Beyond these tips, BBB offers an additional layer of trust for consumers seeking environmentally and socially responsible businesses. The BBB4Good Trustmark signifies trustworthy businesses aligned with your values.

This program verifies the social good activities of businesses, allowing them to display the BBB4Good Trustmark. This prestigious distinction tells consumers whether a business is not just making claims, but actively implementing practices that benefit the environment and society.

How Consumers Benefit from BBB4Good:

  • Shop with Confidence: The BBB4Good Trustmark signifies a business has been vetted by BBB, ensuring their commitment to environmental responsibility or social impact goes beyond marketing slogans.
  • Align Purchases with Values: BBB4Good helps consumers easily identify businesses whose practices align with their own commitment to sustainability. Consumers can find these businesses by searching for purpose-driven businesses on BBB.org.
  • BBB4Good builds upon BBB Accreditation, ensuring that purpose-driven businesses meet rigorous BBB Standards for Trust and BBB4Good Standards of higher purpose, community engagement, authentic marketing, and social and/or environmental impact substantiation.

For more information

Visit BBB’s green HQ for more tips on reducing your carbon footprint and BBB4Good to verify the social good activities of businesses before you do business with them.

 

Kryistyna Hook
Senior Director Brand Strategies & Social Impact
kryistyna.hook@bbbcommunity.org  |  928.302.3701

 

Reprinted by permission of the Better Business Bureau, © 2024.

KNTR Talk Dominates “Heavy Hundred” for 2024

KNTR Talk has 4 of the Top 5 talk radio shows in the 2024 Talkers Magazine Heavy Hundred!! Congratulations to Sean Hannity, who held onto the #1 slot.


“Hannity” airs Monday – Friday, 12pm – 3pm | KNTR Talk Program Schedule

That’s why KNTR Talk 106.7, 5 and 3 – The 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 2024 Talker Heavy Hundred list, CLICK HERE.



Congratulations to all of our hosts who made the “Heavy Hundred.”

Vitalant is having an April Blood Drive


Contact: Mike Doria | 702.444.6629 | mdoria@vitalant.org

Feeling Stressed? Donating Blood Improves Mental Health
April is National Stress Awareness Month. Plus, more than 100 chances to win gift cards

 

LAS VEGAS (March 21, 2024) — Meditation is cool, and yoga’s fine. However, donating blood not only relieves
stress but also saves a life. Vitalant encourages anyone looking to experience that powerful combination to
consider giving blood at one of its community drives or three donation centers in Southern Nevada. While all
blood types are needed, Vitalant wants to “stress” that the O types are urgently needed.

By design, the donor chair only offers the option to kick back and relax while giving back. According to The
Mental Health Foundation, engaging in selfless service activities, such as blood donation, can create a
“Helper’s High,” or an overall positive feeling that comes with doing some good. Additionally, the foundation
says donating blood has benefits beyond stress relief, which include:

 Improving Emotional Well-being
 Positively Impacting Physical Health
 Eliminating Negative Feelings
 Creating a Sense of Belonging
 Reducing Isolation

To help our donors stay stress-free, Vitalant will blaze a trail of kindness by giving automatic entry into a
drawing to win one of (20) $420 gift cards for anyone who donates. Winners of the gift cards must be opted
into our Donor Rewards program. Then, from April 21 to May 23, donors have a chance to win one of
(83) $83 gift cards (eligible only if opted into the Vitalant Donor Rewards program).
Upcoming Blood Drives

Vitalant Blood Donation Appointments: www.vitalant.org or 877-25-VITAL (877-258-4825)

LAS VEGAS AREA DONOR CENTERS
Henderson – Green Valley: 601 Whitney Ranch Dr, Bldg D Ste 20
Las Vegas – Northwest: 4950 W Craig Rd
Las Vegas – West Charleston: 6930 W Charleston Blvd

PUBLIC BLOOD DRIVES BY CITY

Northwest Arizona

Bullhead City
Fri, Apr 5, 10am-2pm, Bullhead Area Chamber of Commerce, 1251 Hwy 95, Conference Rm
Mon, Apr 8, 9am-2pm, Mohave Accelerated Learning Ctr, 625 Marina Blvd, CafeTue, Apr 16, 10am-1:30pm, Joshua Springs Senior Living, 2995 Desert Sky Blvd, Activities Rm
Thu, Apr 18, 10am-2pm, Bullhead City AM Kiwanis, 3400 Hwy 95 South, MCC BHC Bldg 600
Tue, Apr 23, 9am-2pm, Mohave High School, 2251 Highway 95 S, MHS-E-Wing Conf Rm

Laughlin
Fri, Apr 19, 9am-2pm, Tropicana Laughlin, 2121 South Casino Dr, Coronado Rm
Fort Mohave
Wed, Apr 17, 9am-3pm, Valley View Medical Ctr, 5300 S Highway 95, Medical Office Bldg 1 Ste I

Kingman
Wed, Apr 17, 10am-2pm, White Cliffs Senior Living, 3600 Peterson Rd, Wellness Rm
Thu, Apr 18, 9am-1pm, Valle Vista Blood Drive, 8620 Cortez Dr, Community Rm
Wed, Apr 24, 9am-2pm, Lee Williams High School, 400 Grandview Ave, Main Gym

Lake Havasu City
Mon, Apr 1, 2pm-7pm, Lake Havasu City @ LHC Aquatic Center Gym, 100 Park Ave, Large Rm
Tue, Apr 2, 10am-6pm, Lake Havasu City @ LHC Aquatic Center Gym, 100 Park Ave, Large Rm
Wed, Apr 3, 9am-5pm, Lake Havasu City @ LHC Aquatic Center Gym, 100 Park Ave, Large Rm
Thu, Apr 4, 8am-12pm, Lake Havasu City @ LHC Aquatic Center Gym, 100 Park Ave, Lake Large Rm
Fri, Apr 12, 11am-4pm, Knights of Columbus 6442, 186 London Bridge Rd, Columbian Hall Blue Rm
Tue, Apr 30, 2pm-6pm, Hospice of Havasu Inc, 232 London Bridge Rd, Bloodmobile

Mohave Valley
Thu, Apr 11, 9:30am-2:30pm, River Valley High School, 2250 Laguna Rd, Conference Rm

CALIFORNIA
Needles
Wed, Apr 10, 10am-2pm, Elks Lodge 1608, 1000 Lillyhill Dr, Meeting Rm

Walk-ins are welcome, appointments are preferred. You can schedule an appointment by logging onto
vitalant.org, downloading and using the Vitalant app, or calling 877-25-VITAL (877-258-4825).

BBB Pacific Southwest shares tips to protect yourself from tax scams

(February 6, 2024) – Tax scams are among the most stubborn cons out there. They reappear often, each time with a slightly different spin. The main theme is scammers posing as the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), trying to trick people into either paying up or sharing personal information.

 

Common tax scams to look out for:

  • IRS Impersonation Scams: Often initiated by phone calls, one involves fake tax demands with threats of arrest, while the other tricks victims into providing personal information under the false pretense of issuing tax refunds, with a specific focus on college students and the claim of unpaid “federal student tax.”
  • Tax Identity Theft Scams: Watch out for tax identity theft, where scammers use your government ID to file false tax returns or secure employment, often unnoticed until the IRS informs you of suspicious activity.
  • Email Phishing Scams: The emails appear to be from the IRS and include a link to a fake website intended to mirror the official IRS website. These emails contain the direction “you are to update your IRS e-file immediately.” The emails sometimes mention USA.gov and IRSgov (without a dot between “IRS” and “gov”).

 

BBB offers tips to help you avoid tax scams:

  • The best way to avoid tax identity theft is to file your taxes as early as possible before a scammer has the chance to use your information to file a fake return.
  • Write down your Identity Protection PIN (IP PIN) from the IRS before you file your return. This is a six-digit number, which, in addition to your Social Security number, confirms your identity. Visit the IRS for more information about the program. Read BBB’s tips about the IRS PIN.
  • The IRS does not initiate contact with tax payers by email, text message or social media to request personal or financial information.
  • Only deal with trustworthy tax preparation services. See our tips for finding the right tax preparer for you.
  • Check out websites carefully and make sure you are accessing the real IRS website when filing your taxes electronically or inquiring for additional information.
  • If you are the victim of tax identity theft, contact the IRS at 1-800-908-4490. You should also file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) at ftc.gov/complaint or by calling 1-877-FTC-HELP. The FTC also offers a personalized identity theft recovery plan at identitytheft.gov.
  • If you get tax information delivered electronically from your employer or other entity, treat that information carefully. Download it onto a password-protected computer.

 

Kryistyna Hook
Director of Media Relations
kryistyna.hook@bbbcommunity.org  |  928.302.3701 

 

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. Become BBB Accredited and join our mission to create a community of trust. Published with permission from Better Business Bureau.

 

Reprinted by permission of the Better Business Bureau, © 2024.

BBB Pacific Southwest awards ethical student athlete with a $1K scholarship

(Credit BBB: Left to right are Isac Urias from Mohave High School; Ligia Chang from BBB)

 

(Bullhead City, AZ -January 5, 2024) – Better Business Bureau Serving Pacific Southwest
(BBB) in partnership with Arizona Interscholastic Association (AIA), names Isac Urias from
Mohave High School in Bullhead City, AZ as a BBB Ethical Athlete scholarship recipient.

Isac’s punctual attendance in preseason workouts, practices and games for football and
wrestling, shows his commitment to the sports. He is independent and carries a smile on his
face with a “whatever it takes” attitude.
Characterized as a “fierce competitor and loyal friend”, his nominator shares that he
“continues to work hard despite little to no support in his home life.”
“Isac showed compassion, great morals and ethics when a head referee was knocked to the
ground in a football game. Instead of running back to the sidelines like all of the other
players, he ran over to the official and put his arm around him to make sure he was ok. This
act showed the dignity and respect that Issac had for the referee even though fans in the
stands were making profanity and derogatory remarks aimed at officials ,” shared Amanda
Amann.
Through community and self-nominations, high school students are evaluated by a panel of
judges for their ability to uphold integrity in the face of ethical and personal challenges
when playing a sport on and off the court. The program honors these behaviors and their
positive influence on others.
Nominate
Arizona high school athletes must have a GPA of at least 2.75, enrolled in an AIA sanctioned
school while participating in an AIA sanctioned sport are eligible to be nominated for the
scholarship. Nominations for the scholarship are now open at athlete.bbbcommunity.org
until February 29.

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.
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. Become BBB Accredited and
join our mission to create a community of trust. Published with permission from Better
Business Bureau.

About the Better Business Bureau Serving the Pacific Southwest.
Better Business Bureau has empowered people to find businesses, brands, and charities they can trust for
more than 110 years. In 2022, people turned to BBB more than 250 million times for BBB Business Profiles
on more than 5.3 million businesses and Charity Reports on about 12,000 charities, all available for free at
BBB.org. The International Association of Better Business Bureaus is the umbrella organization for the local,
independent BBBs in the United States, Canada and Mexico. Incorporated locally in 1938, BBB Serving the
Pacific Southwest serves Greater Arizona and Southern California, providing critical tools to ignite success
including mentorship, online products, coworking and access to capital. Our objective expertise educates the
community on ethical behavior in the marketplace and how businesses can build trust.

###

Reprinted by permission of the Better Business Bureau, © 2024.