DON'T BE FOOLED
Consumers can take some steps to protect themselves from being tricked by scam artists seeking to capitalize on recent terrorist and anthrax attacks.
Check out the business with the local Better Business Bureau by calling (330) 744-7210.
Get advice from the Mahoning County Emergency Management Agency, 120 Market St., Youngstown, (330) 740-2200.
Beware of advertisements for new, quick cure-alls. Use caution when ordering drugs from abroad; they could be unsafe, inappropriate, contaminated or counterfeit.
Watch out for high-pressure sales tactics and exaggerated claims.
Evaluate an advertiser's use of government references. Watch for look-alike government names, symbols and claims that a product is official, endorsed or approved by the government.
Question any conspiracy claim that the government knows about the product and is keeping it secret and that the marketer offering the product is the only one brave enough to do so.
Ask yourself if you really need the product. If you decide to buy, comparison shop. Resist the urge to act immediately.
Source: Patricia B. Rose, president and CEO, Better Business Bureau serving Columbiana, Mahoning and Trumbull counties.