This article is not about any of the “normal” topics of this newsletter: genealogy, history, current affairs, DNA, and related topics. However, it is a important article that I believe all computer-owning citizens should be aware of.
The following announcement was written by the Better Business Bureau:
BBB Scam Tracker online tool saved consumers $31.4 million in 2021 alone, according to BBB Institute estimates.
The BBB Institute for Marketplace Trust (BBB Institute) is partnering with Amazon and Capital One to help people learn about scams, report them, and avoid losing money and/or personal information by enhancing the capabilities of the BBB Scam Tracker online reporting tool.
The new features make it easier for consumers to identify scams and report them while arming partners with more robust data on scammers to better protect consumers.
“BBB Scam Tracker was launched in 2015 and its impact has been significant,” said Melissa Lanning Trumpower, executive director of BBB Institute, the Better Business Bureau’s educational foundation. “By our estimates, BBB Scam Tracker saved consumers $31.4 million in 2021 alone. Partnering with Amazon and Capital One enables us to expand the impact of this platform.”
“Our partnership with the Better Business Bureau and support of the enhanced Scam Tracker tool highlights our focus on helping consumers and earning their trust,” said Sarah Strauss, Head of Customer Service and Strategy at Capital One. “Educating consumers on how to better protect themselves from scams and what to do if they think they’ve been a scam victim is crucial in the fight against bad actors.”
“Amazon is committed to protecting our customers from scams and helping them protect themselves,” said Kathy Sheehan, vice president and associate general counsel at Amazon. “We’re grateful to support the work of consumer advocates like the Better Business Bureau. Better data on attempted scams—whether consumers report them directly to us or through tools like Scam Tracker—will help identify the bad actors behind these fraudulent schemes and bring them to justice.”
The new BBB Scam Tracker provides an improved customer experience and enhanced data capabilities for partners to collaborate on fighting scams.
The BBB Scam Tracker makes it easier for consumers to report scams via mobile or desktop. It includes a new guided questionnaire that makes it quick and easy to report a scam. Consumers can now review and edit their reports before submission, and then share the report with friends and family via social media or email. They also have the option to receive updates about the constantly evolving tactics that scammers use.
In addition, an upgraded search function enables consumers to search scams in the tool by URL, email address, phone number and more. BBB Scam Tracker reports are also accessible via broader online searches, expanding the reach of the platform and helpful information to others who may be searching for help.
Additional features include an API and system-generated report functionality that enables scam data sharing with fraud-fighting partners. Updated back-end technology improves the speed of the tool and allows for future enhancements to be made.
BBB Institute will continue to make upgrades to Scam Tracker to meet the growing needs of consumers that lose money to scams, particularly the older demographic groups who are more susceptible to fraud.
Amazon and Capital One are both BBB Accredited Businesses. Amazon has been BBB Accredited since 1996. Capital One has been BBB Accredited since 1995. With their support of this project, Amazon and Capital One become members of the BBB Corporate Trust Council, a coalition of select companies that join with BBB Institute to build a trustworthy marketplace by providing their expertise, resources, and funding support.