WNBC Reporter Lynda Baquero pust her money where her mouth is. Or at least puts money back into viewers pockets.
Baquero is part of the popular WNBC franchise,“Better Get Baquero.”
Her investigations have helped recover more than $1 million from scammers and callous companies as a result of the daily segment that debuted as part of the newscast in 2013.
“There are so many (news) stories that we do that impact our viewers but not always directly” Baquero says. “With something like this our audience can reach out to us with a specific problem and we can help them individually — at the same time we’re also passing along consumer information that can impact a larger audience.
The NY Daily News writes that, over the last three years Baquero helped hundreds of people, including a man who had been over charged more than $2,400 by a student loan company, a New Jersey woman who had been denied cancer treatment by her insurance company and a Staten Island man who lost $4,000 to E-Z Pass because he didn’t know about a residential discount.
A case that stands out, says Baquero, is New York woman who had been socked with a $67,000 bill by her insurance company for an emergency medical helicopter transport because it had not been pre-approved in the moments before she collapsed and nearly died.
“They weren’t going to pay for it — after we got involved they did.”
Baquero, who has covered thousands of stories for WNBC/Ch.4 in more than 20 years at the station says that her work helping consumers solve their problems has been her most rewarding assignment.
“I never get this kind of reaction on any other kind of story,” she says of how viewers show relief and excitement when she and her crew show up.
She says that station gets about 20 or 30 calls a day but can only present one on the news.
“Every call is answered,” she says. “Every call gets a response from us and if we can’t help at the very least these people know that they’ve been heard” says Baquero. “That’s what sets us apart.”