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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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BBB Tip of the Week: This week has consumer protection focus

By Lauren Hall Marketplace Manager

National Consumer Protection Week is March 4-10 and like all holidays that aim to educate consumers, Better Business Bureau of the Northwest and Pacific will be celebrating.

Each year, Better Business Bureau partners with agencies, including the Federal Trade Commission and the Washington state attorney general’s office to educate the public about their consumer rights and give them access to free consumer-related resources to help them use their money wisely. This year is the 20th year of celebrating the annual campaign.

BBB and the partner agencies advise consumers to follow these tips and tools to make well-informed decisions:

Research. Before purchasing something or donating money, thoroughly research the business or organization. Start at bbb.org/search.

Update software. Keep antivirus software up-to-date and use caution when browsing the internet. Never click on links or open attachments contained in unsolicited emails or pop-up ads.

Shred documents. Any documents containing sensitive or financial information should be disposed of by shredding. Old electronics should be stripped of their internal hard drives and recycled. Use bbb.org/northwest to find companies that provide these resources.

Do not give out personal information. Social Security numbers and bank account numbers should be kept private from strangers who make contact through the phone, Internet or mail.

Don’t fall prey to scammers. If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Go to bbb.org/scamtracker to look up scams that have been reported near you.

To get involved in National Consumer Protection Week, check out the resources at ncpw.gov, visit BBB’s Facebook page or use #ConsumerProtection and #NCPW2018 on Twitter.

For more consumer tips and the latest alerts, download the BBB app at bbbapp.org. Anyone who feels they may be a victim of a scheme or scam should report it to local law enforcement and BBB Scam Tracker at bbb.org/scamtracker.

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