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Alaskans Targeted by Scammers During PFD Season

Anchorage, Alaska – Oct. 1, 2012 – On Oct. 4, 2012, eligible Alaskans will be receiving Permanent Fund Dividends in the amount of $878.00. The influx of cash is important to the community, but Better Business Bureau warns that more money usually means more problems.

“There’s typically a spike in scam complaints surrounding PFD disbursements and it’s critical that Alaskans are cautious of coincidentally-timed ‘opportunities,’” says Robert W.G. Andrew, CEO of BBB serving Alaska, Oregon and Western Washington.

In general, avoid situations where significant upfront fees are requested:

  • Investment seminars: Beware if “free” seminars pitch “guaranteed” or “zero-risk” investment opportunities in real estate, stocks or timeshares, but require upfront fees or cannot provide substantiation of claims.
  • Work-from-home jobs: Very few work-from-home jobs are legitimate; avoid jobs where employers are difficult to locate, require upfront payments for “marketing collateral” or starter kits, or simply sound too good to be true.
  • Talent scouts: Fraudulent agencies travel the country and host one-day or two-day events to cast models and actors; some require large down payments for contracts, then skip town or never come through with talent offers—read KTUU Channel 2’s story from October 2010: Child Talent Search Could be a Scam.

Report suspected PFD fraud to the Alaska Department of Revenue’s Permanent Fund Dividend Division. For more shopping tips and financial advice, visit alaska.bbb.org.

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