Almost every day consumers are confronted with a variety of scams including credit card fraud, identity theft, travel scams, medical fraud, counterfeiting and misrepresentation of products and/or services.
Consumers are confronted with fraud, con jobs, scams and ripoffs every day. You find them when buying a car, purchasing insurance insurance, using your credit card, shopping at the mall, making purchases online, or taking out a loan.
Some scams are easy to identify and avoid. Some scams are harder to spot. You need to be able to identify all of them before it’s too late. Failing to detect a single scam can cost you thousands of dollars.
The Consumer fraud section of Fraud Guides provides information and tips on how to avoid some of the most common frauds, schemes and scams facing today’s consumer.
If money is involved there’s a scam artist out there with a scheme designed to trick you out of it.
Do your due diligence!
Educating yourself about fraud and knowing the tricks in the scam artist’s toolbox is your number one defense against fraud. We encourage you to use us as a resource anytime someone offers you something that appears “too good to be true.” We also urge you to use more than a single reference when doing your research. The more you read, the better your chances of avoing a scam. Knowledge is the best weapon against fraud and a little of it can go a long way.
What is consumer fraud? Some definitions
Consumer fraud includes many fraudulent and misleading practices such as advertising, marketing, selling, or procuring goods or services. Consumer fraud occurs when a product or service does not perform as advertised. Another example of consumer fraud is overcharging for something or concealing a fee. Consumer fraud may also occur when a company compels you to agree to unfair terms and conditions in order to complete a transaction. You may also be a victim of consumer fraud if you purchased an item represented to you as safe when the seller had reason to believe otherwise. In this section we also inlude ID theft, banking, travel, medical and real estate fraud.
Recognizing Consumer Scams
After you’ve read a few of the consumer fraud articles here on FraudGuides you may begin to see a pattern. Most scams share characteristics and once you can easily recognize them you’ll be able to spot them a mile away. We provide many examples of consumer fraud here so that you can learn by example and avoid these scams with ease. Our aim is to help people before they become fraud victims as well as those that have fallen prey to scam artists.
For victims of fraud
If you are a recent victim of fraud we provide advise on what you should do and where to report the crime. If you think you’ve been scammed, report it immediately. Many fail to report fraud out of embarrassment or because of the mistaken belief the authorities are powerless to help. Failing to report a crime is one of the worst things you can do! At the very least your report might help someone else down the road. Contact the authorities and tell them everything you can. You’ll feel better and may end up helping someone else.