BBB, ADFG and ADMV Warn of a Nationwide Consumer Alert
Anchorage, Alaska — August 29, 2017 Better Business Bureau Serving the Northwest has seen a rise in complaints nationwide regarding two businesses claiming to be located in Idaho. Consumers report
“While we urge consumers to always do their due diligence before making a purchase, it is equally important for a business to be clear and transparent in what it is selling,” said Tyler Andrew, BBB Serving the Northwest CEO. “In fact, one of BBB’s eight Standards for Trust is to advertise honestly. This is an important element for creating a marketplace of trust.”
Consumers claim when they complete an online search for “fishing license” or “driver’s license” the search engine leads them to a page on FishingLicense.Org and Drivers Services. The pages tell the user they can purchase, renew or replace their license. But after a purchase is made, the consumer discovers they ordered an informational guide.
The ADFG cautions anglers and hunters against illegitimate websites offering fishing & hunting licenses. To purchase a proper license, consumers can visit the official ADFG website at adfg.alaska.gov/Store/.
The ADMV offers driver manuals and practice tests free of charge. Consumers can visit the official website at alaska.gov/dmv for complimentary, official guides.
Since more than 140 million Americans are involved in outdoor activities, BBB suggests consumers follow this advice before purchasing a license online:
- Read the fine print. Consumers should make themselves aware of everything written on the website they are purchasing from. This includes specific terms, conditions, limitations and other descriptions that are often easy to miss.
- Contact government agencies. To make sure consumers are getting exactly what they pay for, they should contact the state’s department of fish & wildlife or department of licensing before purchasing a license. It’s also wise to research the type of license and costs on these secure, official websites.
- Specify the online search. Consumers are easily drawn to click on these two websites since they have high rankings on online searches. BBB advises to use keywords such as the consumer’s state and a specific license type instead of vague license searches.
- Start with trust. Before purchasing online, consumers should also check business profiles at bbb.org/northwest
to see if a business is accredited, in good standing, and read consumer reviews and alerts.
Anyone who believes they may be a victim of a scam can report it to BBB. For more trustworthy tips on online purchases, visit bbb.org/shoppingonline/.