Get educated on ID theft, scams Jan. 15
Jan 09, 2014 | 2303 views |  0 comments | 72 72 recommendations | email to a friend | print
David Smitherman, President and CEO of the Better Business Bureau of Central Alabama and the Wiregrass, speaks Jan. 15 at noon at the Pell City Library. The program is free to the public.
David Smitherman, President and CEO of the Better Business Bureau of Central Alabama and the Wiregrass, speaks Jan. 15 at noon at the Pell City Library. The program is free to the public.
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Living in a high-tech world these days involves making new consumer decisions that are smart.

There are valid concerns with identity theft, new scams to contend with come out often and many are looking for ways to keep themselves informed of the risk factors.

That’s why the Pell City Library will offer help for these and other related issues with a new program offered through the Better Business Bureau of Central Alabama at the library Wednesday, Jan. 15 at noon.

“The Better Business Bureau can help the public navigate these difficult waters and develop smart strategies for making wise financial decisions,” said Susan Mann, assistant librarian for the Pell City Library.

David Smitherman, President and CEO of the Better Business Bureau of Central Alabama and the Wiregrass, and the Better Business Bureau Educational Foundation Inc. will be on hand at the Pell City Library to share tips on becoming a smart and savvy consumer in 2014 and more, Mann said.

Smitherman will be the guest speaker for the library’s Wild and Wonderful Wednesday series and his presentation promises to be rich in content and chock-full of helpful strategies to raise awareness and keep us informed, Mann said.

The Better Business Bureau was founded about 100 years ago, and is a private, non-profit organization which strives to promote an ethical marketplace by providing consumers with reviews on business and charitable organizations with whom they might wish to conduct business, and by maintaining a system for registering of, and assistance in reconciliation of consumer complaints.

It seeks to educate and empower the public through the information it provides.

Member and non-member businesses (including charities) are rated by the BBB based on a formula comprised of multiple pre-established factors, each of which have a bearing on the final rating on file at the Bureau.

For instance, if you’re planning to replace your roof, or to update your kitchen, and you are undecided about which company to hire to do the work, why not contact the Better Business Bureau for advice, Mann said.

“The Better Business Bureau cannot make recommendations for one business over another, but it can advise consumers of the rating on record for each firm that you might be considering,” Mann said.

The BBB Educational Foundation Inc. also shares information with the public via educational seminars and conferences on such topics as identity theft protect and financial management.

Smitherman became president and chief executive officer of the Better Business Bureau of Central Alabama and the Wiregrass in April of 2006. Prior to this, his career focus was primarily in the field of hospital administration. He was vice president of Carraway Methodist Hospital in Birmingham, and later served as vice president of Jackson Hospital and Clinic in Montgomery.

At the Better Business Bureau, Smitherman is responsible for all activities of the state’s largest business ethics organization.

The Better Business Bureau includes 25 employees with offices in Birmingham and Dothan. It served a base of approximately 4,000 accredited business members and assisted in over 880,000 incidences of service last year. Smitherman is a native of Tuscaloosa, and a graduate of Birmingham Southern College and the University of Alabama.

He has two grown sons and currently resides in Birmingham.

In the upcoming program at the Pell City Library, Smitherman will address such issues as preventing identity theft and avoiding scams.

He will also share helpful financial tips with which to start your new year, and entertain any questions that the audience might have regarding these topics. The program is free and open to the public, and all are invited to attend. Light refreshments will be served afterward.