Five resolutions for a fraud-free new year

Posted 1/5/24

BBB recommends adding a few precautionary steps to the New Year’s resolution list...

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Five resolutions for a fraud-free new year


The loss of money, personal information, and perseverance of scammers continue with online purchase scams as the riskiest of scams.

The Better Business Bureau (BBB) recommends adding a few precautionary steps to the New Year’s resolution list and the weight loss and financial goals to help make the upcoming days and months fraud-free.

• I resolve to be cautious with email. Be wary of unsolicited emails from a person or a company. Remember, scammers can make emails look like they are from a legitimate business, government agency, or reputable organization (even BBB!). Never click on links or open attachments in unsolicited emails.

• I resolve never to send money to strangers. If you haven’t met a person face-to-face, don’t send them money. This is especially true if the person asks you to transfer funds using a pre-paid debit card or CashApp. Money sent to strangers in this way is untraceable, and once it is sent, there’s no getting it back. Scammers will try to trick you into panicking – so before making a move, think the situation through. Don’t fall for it!

• I resolve to do research before making online payments and purchases. Research the retailer before entering payment information when shopping online, or if asked to pay online, research the retailer before entering payment information. Ask: Is this a person or business I know and trust? Do they have a working customer service number? Where is the company physically located? Would I be making payments through a secure server ( Have I checked to see if others have complained?

• I resolve to use my best judgment when sharing my personal information. Sharing sensitive personal information with scammers opens the door to identity theft. Never share financial information, birthdate, address, Social Security/Social Insurance number, or Medicare number with an unsolicited caller.

• I resolve to be social media smart. Use privacy settings on social media and only connect with people you know. Be careful about including personal information in your profile, and never reveal your address and other sensitive information – even in a “fun” quiz. Scammers may use this information to make themselves pass as friends or relatives and earn your trust. Also, be careful when buying products you see on social media. BBB Scam Tracker has received thousands of complaints about misleading Facebook and Instagram ads.

For more information

To learn more about scams, go to For more about avoiding scams, check out If this scam has targeted you, help others avoid the same problem by reporting your experience at

Stay up on the latest scams by subscribing to BBB Scam Alerts emails.

Learn how to spot a scam.

See BBB’s New Year’s guide. Whether you focus on resolutions or not, the start of the new year can feel like a fresh start in many aspects of your life. Here are BBB’s tips and other articles to help you as you think about changes you may want to make in the new year.

better business bureau, bbb, new year, resolution, scams, fraud