Crooks Target Christmas Shoppers with New Text-Message Scams in Time for Cyber Monday

Person on Apple Laptop with credit card in other hand

Christmas shoppers across the country, including Tennessee, are being targeted by criminals using a new, sophisticated scam involving text messages that appear to be advertising sales and other bargains from well-known stores, the Better Business Bureau (BBB) warned Thursday. 

Unsuspecting shoppers receive a text with an offer to participate in a survey about a recent Black Friday shopping experience. In exchange, the consumer receives valuable coupon, product, or gift card to a well-known store. The survey is typically shown as a limited-time offer, which entices consumers to fill out the survey as soon as they receive it.

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Better Business Bureau Warns of Holiday Scams

The Better Business Bureau (BBB) posted a list of 12 scams to watch out for this year. The BBB, known for helping customers find credible businesses, brands, and charities, was founded in 1912 as a small nonprofit focused on advancing marketplace trust.

While the BBB said that most scams are sent through email, it added that customers should “Exercise caution when coming across social media ads about discounted items, event promotions, job opportunities, and donation requests, as well as direct messages from strangers.”

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Commentary: The FDA’s Power over Food and Drug Approval

Competition tends to bring about a better product or service, at a lower price, than does monopoly. This is a basic premise held by virtually all economists, disputed by pretty much no one in the profession. The entire antitrust edifice of the American system is built upon this foundational aspect of the dismal science.

And yet when push comes to shove, our society jettisons this insight, at least when it comes to assuring the quality of our food and drugs.

The Food and Drug Administration is a monopoly agency entrusted with this task. Its word is final concerning such matters. No competition is allowed. If a private agency set itself up as an alternative, it would first be subjected to raucous laughter, and then its creators jailed.

The FDA is a licensing agency. If it does not approve of a food or drug, it is illegal to offer it for sale. What is the non-monopolistic alternative to this sad state of affairs? This is called certification. How, pray tell, does this work? It is simple. Different firms set themselves up as evaluators of the quality of food and drugs, and each of them subjects these products to their examinations. They certify some as approved, and list others as not approved.

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