Crooks often pose as charities in these effective schemes that both trick you out of you money and take money from those needing it most. No one wants to be thought of as the bad guy — the self-centered oaf who doesn’t want to give a little change for the September 11th orphans or children […]
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 include 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.
If you’ve thought about taking advantage of a “Rent to Own” offer, think twice. Renting to own can be both expensive and risky. Rent-to-Own offers have been around a long, long time. You’ve probably seen ads on TV and newspapers or heard about such offers on the radio. They sound appealing enough, especially to people […]
Beware any scholarship-finding service claiming they can get you access to private scholarship money are available to fund a student’s education yet few know about so the money goes unused. If only that were true! The sales pitch sounds great and it fools many people each and every year. A little homework on your part […]
You’re not always getting what you paid for on the street or internet Product counterfeiting has grown into a huge business. Just about every imaginable product is being counterfeited, with designer watches (pss! Wanna buy a Rolex?), DVDs, and software among the more popular products. It should be obvious when somebody is trying to sell […]
Optoutprescreen.com lets you opt out of pre-approved credit card offers and the risk of credit card fraud that comes with them. That means less junk in your mail box! Identity theft and credit card fraud are two of the worst threats facing consumers. The news is full of identity theft stories in which the victim’s […]
Foreclosure rescue fraud is sweeping the country and can end up costing you the home and equity you’re desperately trying to save from foreclosure. In these tough economic times, mortgage foreclosure rescue scams are sweeping the nation. Foreclosure rescue fraud is both devious and cruel. Homeowners, finding it difficult to make ends meet and facing […]
If you are a prospective home buyer, you must be aware of closing fee kickback schemes and know how to avoid them. In recent months, federal investigators have broken up several kickback rings. These are scams that are easy for crooked real estate insiders to perpetuate on unwitting victims. If you are a prospective home […]
Real Estate appraisers are under pressure to ‘tweak’ the numbers and when they do they are guilty of appraisal fraud. A real estate appraiser who doesn’t tweak their numbers to fit their lenders’ needs is an appraiser that doesn’t work. It’s that simple. With the rise in real estate prices over the past few years, […]
Being hit with last minute fees can move you to tears This scam starts out very pleasantly. Moving companies will try to beat each others low bid to move your possessions for you. You’ve gotta love competition. In most cases this is exactly what you would want to have happen. You would take the low […]
Some modeling agencies are nothing more than con jobs designed to cheat aspiring models out of their hard-earned money. Modeling agency scams lure their victims by advertising in local newspapers to encourage potential models, both men and women, to meet company representatives for group screenings. The ads usually state, “No fee.” At follow-up interviews, however, […]