Consumer Guide: Scams & Schemes

Consumer Guide
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Consumer Guide: Avoiding Scams & Schemes

Don’t get reeled in by these common ploys

The Offer

Advance-Fee Loan Scams

  • Many fraudulent loan companies will guarantee you a loan in exchange for an upfront fee.

Red Flags

Advance-Fee Loan Scams

  • Lender isn’t interested in credit history
  • Lender isn’t registered in your state
  • If the offer is made by phone and a fee is requested

Take Action

Advance-Fee Loan Scams

  • Never pay an upfront fee.
  • A legitimate mortgage broker, loan or credit card company WILL NEVER ASK FOR AN UPFRONT FEE.
  • In fact, it is against the law in Rhode Island. Source: Rhode Island Attorney General’s Office
 

The Offer

Free Gifts & Free Vacations

  • General rule of thumb: you usually have to give something in exchange for the “free” offer.
  • More often than not you will pay more than the promotion is worth.

Red Flags

Free Gifts & Free Vacations

  • Be wary of great deals, BBB says few legitimate companies can afford to give away products & services of real value.
  • Don’t be pressured into buying anything. Legitimate businesses won’t expect you to make snap decisions.
  • If a salesperson can’t give specific details, walk away.

Take Action

Free Gifts & Free Vacations

  • DO NOT PAY ANY UPFRONT FEES.
  • Get details upfront and in writing.
  • Find out what’s included in the offer and details on any additional fees that may apply.
  • Consider contacting airlines, hotels, restaurants, etc. directly to verify arrangements.
 

The Offer

Bogus Check Scams

  • Offer may be mailed to you, including an official-looking check.
  • The offer will urge you to cash the check right away.

Red Flags

Bogus Check Scams

Take Action

Bogus Check Scams

  • DON’T Cash the check.
  • Even if the bank makes the funds available for withdrawal, it does not mean the check has cleared.
  • Any money withdrawn on a bogus check will be taken out of your account.
 

The Offer

Investment “Opportunities”

Red Flags

Investment “Opportunities”

  • Beware of promises of fast money. As a rule, “get rich quick” schemes are just that — schemes.
  • Beware of “offshore” investments.
  • Don’t believe claims that there’s no risk. All investments have some degree of risk.

Take Action

Investment “Opportunities”

 

The Offer

Work-At-Home Programs

  • Often times these companies will guarantee stable income working out of the comfort of your own home.

Red Flags

Work-At-Home Programs

  • Be wary of programs that offer big profits with little or no effort.
  • Be wary of any company that requires “start-up” costs, aka: up front fees.
  • A legitimate home-based business – like any other business – requires hard work, skill, and good products or services.

Take Action

Work-At-Home Programs

  • Before signing up check the program out with the Better Business Bureau.
  • Ask for references of people doing the work.
  • Be aware of legal requirements. Some types of work, like medical billing, may require a license or certificate.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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