Consumer Fraud

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.

consumer fraud

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.

18 Responses

  1. Yvonne parrish says:

    I am a victim of buy a bottle of face cream, keep it for so many day and call for cancel or been bill for full price. But when I call back to cancel no one answers the phone for several days.
    Then after the limit time due I been charge full price.

  2. Katie Shepherd says:

    From 10/19/14 to 10/26/14 my husband and I stayed at the Waikiki Beach Resort & Spa. While I thoroughly enjoyed my stay there I have had an issue with fraudulent activity from one of their venders.
    I had the unfortunate opportunity to be swayed into the Vine Vera shop. They led me to believe they were the hotel spa giving facials to hotel guest. I bought product based on false promises and this fraudulent misunderstanding.
    Even the charge is listed Beauty by Nature Marriott.
    Their representative made a big deal over the fact that I was buying into 4 years worth of facial products and only paying for two years. He instructed me that when I was getting low on any of the products I was to send him an email before I ran out and he would in turn mail me the replacement product. He said the cost of the four year plan was 7000 however he was ONLY going to charge me 3500 basically giving me two years free. When I didn’t immediately jump at the offer he left the room supposedly to speak with his manager and came back in all singsong and stated that he had good news. His manager had agreed to give me a 6 month unconditional guarantee. According to him If for any reason I was not happy I could return all remaining products and get a full refund. Then he added that the cost would be an additional 500 for the guarantee. I am not easily sold especially for large sums of money but I was pleased with how my face looked after the facial. Unfortunately that is were it ended. Knowing guest are vacationing there the company said they ship everything directly to your home and that I should contact my sales rep directly if I had any questions along the way. Products did arrive as promised although a few items were initially missing. However after several emails I did finally receive missing items. I continued to ask for the paperwork however as I had nothing explaining the products, their usage, reorder information or anything at all about the company which caused me great concern. After getting frustrated over lack of paperwork my rep finally sent me a brochure that stated kit prices and what you received with it. However now he said oh and you got the two year plan which was not what he sold me at time of sale. Additionally this paperwork disclosed that they don’t replace all items as originally promised but instead only a select few each year. Additionally the ONLY way to get them replaced would be to return the empty bottle of approved item to the original place of purchase. I live in South Florida and they knew that at time of purchase. They also made a point of saying that there wasn’t a shop in my local area so basically I had to purchase it there. The idea that I would ever fly to HI just to exchange a bottle of facial cleanser is laughable and only further evidence of the scam they set out to play. As a result of this I contacted my credit card company and stated that I was being denied 50% of what I was sold and requested a 50% refund. The company naturally disputed it saying I received products and they would not honor my request. Then I requested a return authorization number based on initial agreement and now they say they have a no return policy! If that was the case what was this 500.00 guarantee about. Sadly I only researched the company after I had problems and needless to say the internet is filled with angry clients. They offer high pressure sales and use lies to help sway customers. They tote Dr. Phils name stating their product has been featured on his show which it was not. The list goes on and on. This company should be fined or shut down for their fraudulent activities. Obviously I would’t recommend them to anyone and would never have purchased items had their terms been honestly presented to me. I have made every attempt to get them to make good on promises to no avail and welcome the opportunity to discuss this further. Your attention in this matter is greatly appreciated.

  3. chris says:

    I’m selling a piano on craigslist and I got a text message from someone wanting to buy it. They said they have been scammed before so to be safe they would send payment through PayPal. They would handle having someone come pick up the piano. I tracked the cell phone number to a business in Hudson CO. There is no emails only text messages. Has anyone had a dealing like this that turned out to a scam

  4. M. Costa says:

    I attended an auction conducted by Westfield LTD and the items I bought for $9500 were fake works of art. They were represented by the auctioneer as being plate stamped and hand signed but upon delivery I inspected them to discover they were made by an inkjet printer and the signature was a facsimile. Their website and the auctioneer said there was an unconditional guarantee but I later discovered disclaimers on their invoice that the buyer is responsible for everything and they are responsible for nothing. Buyer Beware!!

  5. el.wilkerson says:

    I’m being scammed on a delinquent payday loan from a number in the San Antonio area,phone number(210-202-XXXX,but because I live 100 miles away local authorites wont do anything say they can’t track these people.I defaulted on loan but paid it 2 yrs later and these scams tell me I’m being charged for check fraud.contract says they do not and cant’ according to [federal fair act 15,USC,Section1692…]they just keep on pestering me ,these aren’t the onlyones doing it,I called ck-n-go they said they weren’t charging me of any such thing ,which the scammers say it is ck-n-go,What can I do?LOCAL officials won’t do anything..

    • Geanette Buck says:

      I just had the same thing happen to me with Check and Go. The company calling me telling me I am being severed by a processer (name the county I currently is in). The company name is Capital Currency Solutions. I called Check and Go and I am not in their system at all (collection or otherwise) and didn’t figure I was either. They had bits and pieces of my old information but the date they said I did the payday load didn’t coincide with the date I was in the area they said the loan was done. you’ll just have to keep ignoring them when they call or email. When they called me it didn’t have a caller ID but left me a voice message telling me I am being sued and they needed to serve me. I called them back and told them I spoke to Check and Go and they had no record of any loan of any sort and they are committing fraud and I was going to report it. So we’ll see if they try to call me back.

    • Smitty says:

      I live in San Antonio, remember just because it shows (210) doesn’t necessarily mean it coming from San Antonio. We here are also being bombarded with fictitious (210) area codes, which turn out to be from somewhere else.

  6. john kulas says:

    On 7/28/2017, my Discover credit card was used to charge over $1,500 for airline tickets in Utah using Jet Blue. The travel agency has the passenger name that committed the fraud. Can this person be arrested and charged by your jurisdiction?

  7. Carolyn Van Zant says:

    I am 77 years old suffering from breast cancer. Due to some suspious activity next door I became afraid living here by myself. Several young men rang my bell about 6:00 one evening and pressured me to have Vivint security system installed for free. Stupid me since I felt safe I had it installed. Put on credit card. They never told me it was a 5 year contract. Now I am paying $71 dollars a month for service that has never worked properly. I have tried to cancel service but get no response. Don’t know what to do, feel I have been scammed into paying for 5 years for service that is not doing as promised.what can I do????

  8. Kellie says:

    I was billed on a product once I cancelled. it. I have called and they told me they have not received it yet, Back from July. My tracking number was flooded in my wallet so no way of getting verification without it. These companies do this for the money and then will not return your money.

  9. Catherine L. Glass says:

    My son was incarcerated in Alabama and we went online to try to find a phone company that would hookup with the jail. We found one. The only way to contact them was through email. We bought the $78 dollar package for a 3-month period. The problem arose in the beginning. It would not work. My daughter in law contacted them several times via e-mail asking why. They then cut her off. I have called all phone numbers, the state of Texas and googled everything I could think of. I also contacted the BBB. Sure could use that $78. I am old and on an a fixed income. Where to go from here?

  10. James and Melinda Bass says:

    We recently were scammed trying to buy a 2004 RV. Now looking back I see so many red flags. What really makes me mad is to see the RV still on the web site for sale. I have reported this matter to the local police and the Federal Trade Commission.

  11. Carolyn Payne says:

    I received a letter from Robinhood Financials. Even though I checked this company out online, and found them to be in good standing with the SEC, I feel someone has hijacked their company name. The letter stated a change in my ACH transfers from Apex to Robinhood Financials. No phone number, but an email address. I inquired with this email address and received a reply asking for my account number, last four digits of my SSN and DOB. I had called my investment company and bank – neither use an ACH. I am going to submit this to the Attorney General.

  12. Janice says:

    We found a car on OfferUp on Thursday, November 22 which is a online marketplace for mostly used items for sale. The buyer responded to us that the purchase would be made through eBay and even sent us a buyer protection payment invoice that we believed to be legit. On Saturday, November 24 we purchased 2 eBay gifts cards and was instructed to call the phone number provided and once the cards are purchased which we did and we gave the person the card#s via phone and was told that we would receive and a confirmation email about when and how to take receipt of the vehicle but as of today, November 26 we haven’t received the email and we figured we have been scammed.

  13. Tammie Carr says:

    I purchased a car from an individual that stated on his ad that the car was in good shape only needed a window crank, front tires ,and dent repaired. I paid him the money but the title was not notorized ,nor was there a buyers agreement signed. After further inspection the title was not in his name. Got the car home and had a mechanic to look at it has it has a fuel leak, transmission is going out, power steering pump is bad and cylinder 2 and 3 has a misfire. I have not signed any papers for the car. Can I get my money back since he was not the owner

  14. Judy Woerner says:

    For months now I have been receiving calls to get a back brace, knee brace or shoulder brace. I put a block on the number and the calls continue, sometimes 12 a day. But yesterday after 3 calls I asked them to please stop calling me. But they continued and than call number 6 a man who I could hardly understand started out by asking me if I had the new medicare card. I said yes, to which he told me to give him the numbers. I asked him who he was. And he told me to which I told him I have no pains from the first call to his call number 6 and to call someone else stop calling me. I wasn’t giving him my medicare numbers and I hung up on him. He called me right back demanding that I give him my medicare numbers! Well that didn’t go over good. I finally blocked that number but how many people are being bullied into giving out their numbers to this man they need to be stopped

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