Better Business Bureau issues another warning about scams

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In this first month of the year, Iowans may need to be more vigilant to keep from getting ripped off by scam phone callers, identity thieves and even by fast-talking health club managers.

Dan Hendrickson, a spokesman for the Better Business Bureau, says it’s not too late to make a resolution to ensure your credit is safe.

“We think it’s important that people check their credit report for free at AnnualCreditReport.com,” Hendrickson says. “That’s a really basic step people can take just to make sure their financial history is portrayed accurately and they can also look for things that don’t really add up or questionable notations in their credit file.”

By checking your credit report, Iowans can spot signs of identity theft early. It may also be helpful to register your phone on the “Do Not Call” registry to avoid a host of questionable sales pitches and pleas for charitable donations, but it isn’t a perfect system.

“This will not cut out all the calls you don’t want,” Hendrickson says. “Basically the good organizations and good companies will follow that list closely. The ones that are more questionable or outright scammers will not.” You can register your phone at DoNotCall.gov. If you resolved to get fit in the new year, he suggests you get a check-up before you sign up for a health club membership.

“We recommend people get a physical first, especially if you’ve been inactive for quite a while,” Hendrickson says. “It’s a good idea to get that baseline, find out what your health status is and work with your physican to set realistic health goals.” There are other elements to consider before joining a gym to make sure it’s the right place for you.

“We recommend researching the fitness club’s background, visit BBB.org,” he says. “Check out if how they’ve handled complaints in the past if they’ve had complaints, and you also want to look at customer reviews.” If the club is offering introductory deals, be clear on the terms and know exactly when any trial pay periods may be over.