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Frauds, Schemes and Rip-Offs

Remember the old saying, "It's too good to be true." If something seems too good to be true, it probably is. Bargains are limited, and anything better than a bargain is practically non-existent. The best way to avoid being fleeced is to spot an illegal scheme or deception before you become a victim. Everyone is subject to fraudulent schemes and con-games. Children, teenagers and the elderly seem to be frequently targeted, perhaps, because they tend to be more trusting of others and assume the same sincerity in return.

CONTEST SCAMS are fake contest notices stating that one has won a "free" prize, and in order to redeem any prize the victim should send "x" number of dollars.

DOOR-TO-DOOR HOME REPAIR involves someone coming to the door and offering home repair work quickly at what seems like a reasonable cost. But, they suddenly "discover" that it will cost much more that the original estimate. Always get references and several estimates before allowing anyone to make repairs.

FRAUD ON THE PHONE occurs when swindlers phone victims promising cash and prizes if the victim will call an "800" or "900" number and give his or her credit card number; then comes the high pressure to persuade purchases of over-priced merchandise.

MODELING AGENCY SCAMS are modeling agencies advertising "no fee" for services. Be wary any time payment is requested. Keep copies of all important papers such as a contract and agency literature. Be sure to get all verbal promises in writing. If one has dreams of becoming a model, it is important to learn to distinguish the legitimate agencies from the scams.

MAGAZINE TELEPHONE SCAMS are those tricking its victims into purchasing multi-year magazine subscriptions.


Fund-raising schemes range from peddling candy or cookies door-to-door to selling candy or cookies door-to-door selling tickets and/or telephone solicitations.

Be Smart! Know what to ask!