Afraid you may fall prey to a scam? - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

Afraid you may fall prey to a scam?

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There's a lot of businesses offering services. Some are legitimate, others are not.

"It's an uncomfortable feeling to know in any situation that there's any individual, or company, or firm, or group of people that are trying to take advantage of another human being."

Pam Meyer, Director of Neighborhood Engagement in South Bend, says it does happen and you could easily be the victim. "We know that many times these kinds of situations are geared towards people who are of lower income who may not understand, often times the elderly."

And she says there are ways to protect yourself. For example, when you get a flier in the mail with appealing claims, check into it before committing to anything. "Part of the danger is that there are sometimes words used on a flyer that confuse a potential recipient."

Some fliers may say you could qualify for federal or state money. "Sometimes it's probably a very legitimate mailer inquiring if people might be interested, but it isn't always as available as you might indicate when reading on the flyer."

Which is why she says to make sure you know where it comes from. It's easy to tell if it's from the city. "You would always have city seal and city stationary and you would have a contact name and phone number. "

If you're worried about falling prey to a potential scam, Dreama Jensen at the Better Business Bureau says there's things you can do. "So if you're considering having some work done and you've made an appointment for someone to come out, you know when they're coming, the best thing to do at that time is to investigate the company."

Once you feel comfortable about the reputation of a company, she says take you're time with the process. "Don't allow yourself to be rushed and sign a contract that night. If it's a good company then they want you to be happy just as much as you want to be happy."

If you ever have questions about whether an organization is with the city, Meyer says don't hesitate to call the mayor's office at 574-235-9261.

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