My friend John Riggins has a great saying, he tells me all the time "If it sounds too good to be true, 9 times out of 10 it is." He should know because he's the President and CEO of the Better Business Bureau.

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Last year alone, Jonh says "West Texans were hit with well over 300 different kinds of scams and every week new scams were discovered that the bureau had never heard of before. That stated, here's a list of the "Top 5 Scams to Hit Texans in 2021."

Phishing, Online Shopping, Sweepstakes, Employment, & Tech Support.

  1. Phishing starts with a call saying they are working for a firm known to you asking for your personal information. The BBB suggests doing your research by contacting the firm yourself, before giving out any information. Phishing attempts to steal your personal information to resell it or steal your identity.
  2. Online shopping can be problematic if you are contacted to buy products or services you just looked up on your computer. This happens when you've been reviewing a product on social media. Before buying anything the BBB says "be sure you're on a trusted website" and not one that collects debit card information. You pay, but get nothing comes in. See for company-specific information.
  3. Sweepstakes offers, one example of this is a caller telling us they are from Publisher’s Clearinghouse and “You have won 35 million dollars but have to pay $1300 for tax and delivery”. Again, the unauthorized use of a company name and the advance fee are two major red flags. Start doing the research before paying anything in advance.
  4. Employment “scam” sends a check to a resident for $3,850 which the scammer asked a local consumer to deposit a check, go to the post office, and get money orders and UPS them to an Ohio address to buy a wheelchair for the patient. Luckily the local potential caregiver did not follow these instructions but let others know by placing this information on
  5. Tech Support “scams’ sometimes start with a call stating your anti-virus software was renewing. Once returning the call the person answering asked for permission “to update your software and needs access your computer" and all your personal information. Do not grant them access.
    Source: Abilene Better Buisness Bureau - John Riggans

These are just a few of the scams reported to the Abilene bureau offices. Mr. Riggans says "learn more at our and use it to report “scams” or get up to date on the latest local scams going around."

Finally, John advises that some scammers will try to text, call and email you in order to get you involved or get your personal information. The BBB says, always check it out first online or call the bureau at (325) 691-1533.

Stuart Miles

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