BBB Pacific Southwest seeks high school student stories on ethics and morals

(Phoenix, February 22, 2024) – Many high school students learn lessons in life by demonstrating resilience to overcome ethical dilemmas. Oftentimes, these stories are left untold, but they should be shared to inspire others to do the right thing even when no one is watching, and the BBB Ethical Torch Essay Scholarship does just that.

Better Business Bureau Serving the Pacific Southwest (BBB) encourages ethical behavior in the community, and the BBB Ethical Torch Essay helps students recognize these actions at an early age. This scholarship honors students who have chosen to respond with integrity when confronted with a dilemma.

“By promoting ethical conduct with students, they will be able to lead with integrity to become better decision-makers in the workforce,” shared Faustine Chan, Director of Business and Community Programs for BBB. The program aligns with BBB’s annual Torch Awards for Ethics, which celebrates companies for upholding outstanding integrity throughout their business operations.

Students are invited to write a 500-word essay that reflects on a meaningful experience or life lesson that proved making the right choice with positive morals was the best path forward. High school students in Greater AZ are eligible to apply and five winners will each be awarded $500-$1,500 in scholarships to be used for college tuition and expenses.

To submit an application or to learn more, visit torchessay.bbbcommunity.org. Submissions are accepted now through September 24, 2024; winners will be announced at BBB’s Torch Awards for Ethics celebration on November 6, 2024, and on the website.

Swiss America and Valley of the Sun-Camelback Kiwanis Club are sponsoring this year’s scholarship program.

 

from

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

 

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

 

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.

 

BBB Pacific Southwest warns to watch out for phony personalized products on social media

 

(January 5, 2024) – A personalized item might seem perfect to use those holiday gift cards; however, look out for misleading ads on Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok promoting customized gifts. BBB Scam Tracker has gotten numerous reports from people whose purchases were far different from what they thought – if they arrived.

How the scam works

While scrolling through social media, an ad comes up for the cutest personalized product. It could be a clothing item with a loved one’s name on it, a keychain with a favorite pet’s face, or a paint-by-numbers kit made from a provided photograph. Whatever the case, you click the link to the company’s website. Everything looks legitimate, so you purchase with great anticipation.

However, when the order arrives (if it arrives at all), it’s not the expected or imagined quality. The personalization might contain errors, or the product may differ completely from the website’s description.

The contact for customer service doesn’t respond, or if you speak with someone via phone or email, they assure you they will fix the issue—but never do. Ultimately, you are left with an undesirable product or no way to get your money back.

One shopper reported this experience buying a custom hoodie online: “After 5 days, I hadn’t received a shipping notification and got curious. Returning to the site, I used their tracking option, but there was no result. I called the phone number on the site, which connected to a garage door company.”

How to avoid social media ad scams

  • Research the company before making a purchase. Before entering any personal information into a website, research the company thoroughly. Examine the website. Poor quality images, images found on other websites, and spelling and grammatical errors are all red flags. A real business should have valid contact information (i.e., a working phone number and customer service email address). If the business has a physical address, research it on Google or Apple Maps. Look to see if they have a profile on BBB.org.
  • Look up reviews on other websites. Read as many reviews as possible from websites besides the company selling the product. Keep a close eye out for customer complaints. Search the business name in a trusted search engine along with the word “scam” to see if others have reported the business as a fake.
  • Pay with a credit card. Ideally, use a credit card instead of a debit card since it’s easier to dispute fraudulent charges with a credit card, and there is a better chance of getting a refund.

 

from:

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

For more information

Read more about a tracking code trick that scammers use to dupe online shoppers and how to identify social media ad scams.  See BBB’s tips for smart shopping online to avoid purchasing from shady companies.

If you’ve been the victim of a scam, share your experience at BBB Scam Tracker.

 

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.

BBB Pacific Southwest shares 5 tips for finding the perfect gift online

Buying the perfect gift starts with having a trustworthy buying experience

 

(Phoenix, December 14, 2023) –  With just a few shopping days left in the holiday season, there’s still time for last-minute online shopping. As you shop for quick deals and promises of guaranteed shipping dates, follow these tips from Better Business Bureau Serving the Pacific Southwest (BBB) to help you have a successful and safe online gift shopping experience.

 

Buying the perfect gift starts with having a trustworthy buying experience.

 

  1. Read reviews: Look at positive and negative feedback. Don’t just focus on the bad or the good; read several reviews to get an idea of the overall trends. By reading multiple reviews, you can see common themes and recurring issues.
  2. Review the return policies: The more generous the return window, the better, but 30 days is a reasonable expectation. Understand return shipping costs, procedures and restocking fees.
  3. Check shipping and delivery options: Verify estimated shipping times and fees, and make sure the retailer offers tracking details. Some retailers may even offer gift-wrapping services, usually for a fee. Decide if the extra charges are worth it before buying.
  4. Pay attention when shopping from an online marketplace: Making an online purchase from marketplaces is a convenient ways to shop. With multiple seller listings, be sure to pay attention to who the seller is, pay attention to product descriptions, use safe payment methods, and understand refund and return policies.
  5. Look for the sign of a better business: You can be confident that when you do business with a BBB Accredited Business, whether online or in person, you are dealing with an ethical and vetted business. Click on the BBB Trust Seal on a business’s website, or visit BBB.org to look up a business.

 

For more information, let BBB guide you on what to look for when buying online, how to shop for the perfect gift online, and how to be a smart online shopper.

 

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, © 2023.

BBB Pacific Southwest Awards Ethical Torch Essay Scholarship Winners in Greater Arizona

Five local students win scholarship for acting with integrity

Image

(Credit BBB, First row from left to right, Shelley Bradley, Orion ChaturvediNatalie Brunansky, Adele Marie Torrington, Arv Jain, Mollie Taylor; Back row: Ken Bonham, Dean Heskin, and Libby Lunseth)

 

(Phoenix, AZ – November 30, 2023)  Better Business Bureau Serving the Pacific Southwest (BBB) proudly awarded five scholarships to high school students for their winning essays on “The Importance of Character and Ethics.” Held annually, the contest encourages students to share a personal experience about doing the right thing when they face an ethical dilemma.

 

2023 Ethical Torch Essay Scholarship Winners:

  • First Place of $1,500: Mollie Taylor, Senior from Lee Williams High School in Kingman
  • Second Place of $1,250: Arv Jain, Freshman from BASIS Peoria in Peoria
  • Third Place of $1,000: Adele Marie Torrington, Senior from Arizona School for the Arts in Phoenix
  • Fourth Place of $750: Natalie Brunansky, Senior from Aletheia Christian Academy in Glendale
  • Fifth Place of $500: Orion Chaturvedi, Freshman from Maricopa High School in Maricopa

 

First place winner Mollie Taylor shared how she let ethics help guide her action of reporting students who were vaping in the gym locker room on the school campus to the administration.

 

“Though I feared retaliation, I informed the assistant principal. I kept second guessing my decision, but right is right. Many of my classmates stepped up and confronted the girls, reminding them I had done nothing wrong.  It made me realize that my ethical decision positively impacted others around me, and all it takes is one person to lead by example,” said Taylor.

 

To learn more about the Ethical Torch Essay Scholarship program, and read the full winning essays, visit torchessay.bbbcommunity.org. Applications for next year’s scholarship will open on January 1, 2024.

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.

About 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, © 2023.

BBB awarded as a Top Company to Work for in AZ!

 

On behalf of Arizona Capitol Times, Best Companies Group and BestCompaniesAZBetter Business Bureau Serving the Pacific Southwest has been honored as a 2023 Top Companies to Work for in Arizona. This award program recognizes the best organizations across the state as voted by their employees and celebrates companies that go above and beyond to set high standards for workplace environments.

“It is an honor to be awarded again as a Top Company to Work for in Arizona! Inclusive, diverse, caring, honest and fun are words that our employees have used to describe the workplace culture at BBB. We understand that now more than ever, employers need to be flexible to the changing needs of employees. We are committed to being open to new ideas and ways of getting things done while serving our mission. We have the best employees around. This award is for them and the important work they do by increasing trust in the communities that we serve. It’s great to be a top company in Arizona!” shares Noelle Rooke, BBB Pacific Southwest Vice President of People and Culture.

BBB takes pride in the culture it offers to its employees and strives to make the work environment better every day. To meet the needs of an evolving landscape, BBB continues to reimagine its campuses to fit the needs of staff in a modern, flexible space. On any given day, employees enjoy unlimited snacks, team lunches, family-friendly events, access to innovative benefits, and paid holidays including four paid days to volunteer at a charity of choice. Best of all, they are surrounded by a like-minded, welcoming team. To learn more about BBB Pacific Southwest’s social impact and community initiatives, visit impact.bbbcommunity.org.

 

Reprinted by permission of the Better Business Bureau, © 2023.

KNTR Talk Dominates “Heavy Hundred” for 2023

KNTR Talk has all of the Top 5 talk radio shows in the 2023 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 2023 Talker Heavy Hundred list, CLICK HERE.





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

BBB® Launches BBB4Good

The meaning of trust in business is evolving. Consumer expectations for companies to lead with purpose continues to rise, as studies show 84% of consumers call for transparency on how they are following through on their promises to people, the planet and society. Better Business Bureau® Pacific Southwest (BBB) is proud to announce BBB4GoodSM to validate and spotlight the growing sector of purpose-driven businesses that are positively impacting their communities through the power of business.

BBB4Good builds upon BBB Accreditation and enables trustworthy, purpose-driven businesses to become ”BBB4Good Verified” by vetting their activities against both BBB Standards for Trust and BBB4Good Standards of higher purpose, community engagement, authentic marketing, and social and/or environmental impact substantiation.

“At BBB, we stand for what’s right not only in business, but for our entire ecosystem. We are guided by our mission to ethically contribute to social well-being and support those bringing value to our people, community and environment. We’re thrilled to be among the first of only six BBB locations in the U.S. and Canada to spearhead this important program to identify businesses that are committed to the same philosophy,” said Matthew Fehling, President/CEO for BBB Pacific Southwest.

By searching the growing list of purpose-driven businesses on BBB.org, consumers can find businesses that are creating value in their communities and have their dollars impact causes they care about. BBB4Good Verified Businesses will display the BBB4Good Trustmark.

“There are many trustworthy organizations in Greater Arizona and Southern California providing products and services while additionally addressing important social issues. These efforts are commendable, and BBB can play an important role in recognizing these companies and helping consumers find them,” additionally shares Fehling.

“BBB is building trust in this new sector of the marketplace by verifying that these businesses are, in fact, investing time, talent, and resources into the communities they serve.”

Businesses interested in BBB4Good Verification can apply at bbb.org/bbb4good. BBB4Good is being launched in six communities in the United States and Canada via the BBB Institute for Marketplace Trust, BBB’s educational foundation, following a two-year pilot program.

 

Reprinted by permission of the Better Business Bureau, © 2023.