Dayton Better Business Bureau always looking for new ways to keep consumers safe
By Scott Unger
The Dayton Better Business Bureau is known for protecting the interests of consumers and is always looking for ways to battle scams, rip-offs and poor business practices.
One of the newer applications to help is the Scam Tracker, which shows users a heat map of scams across the country and specifically in their backyard, according to Dayton BBB President and CEO John North.
The Scam Tracker lists different types of cons including identity theft, job scams, foreign lotteries and grandparent scams. The technology available at bbb.org is able to hone in on individual ZIP codes to help consumers be aware of recent scams in their area.
While the elderly are one of the more targeted groups in scams, North says millennials reliance on technology puts them at risk as well.
“They have been raised during the era of technology,” North says. “They don’t write checks anymore for the most part making them vulnerable for check scams and foreign lotteries.”
The scam tracker helps consumers online, but the bureau also uses a hands-on approach through events like the Secure Your ID Day free shredding event, conducted in October.
The first 350 cars to the event had their important personal documents shredded by the bureau free of charge in an attempt to fight identity theft, which effects more than two million consumers annually.
“It’s a huge problem, it’s one of the biggest scams reported nationally,” North says.
While the Dayton branch is relatively small in comparison with other bureaus it is currently supplying 40 other bureaus with search engine marketing tools designed to give websites a stronger presence.
The Dayton branch has an individual staff and sales team working with businesses to maximize views on search engines such as Google and that technology has been shown to work for the other bureaus serviced, North says.
“We have seen an increase over the last 10 years of the number of people who are visiting the website,” he says.
Along with providing updated search tools, the Dayton branch features one of the oldest Women in Business networking programs. Built on the pillars of education, resources, recognition and building connections, the program regularly holds events such as a breakfast club, mentoring program and an entrepreneurs group.
In an effort to recognize outstanding companies, the bureau is currently accepting nominations for the 2019 Eclipse Integrity Awards, honoring both businesses and charities for their management practices, business relationships, promotional efforts and reputation.