Common Signs of a Scam

Following are some tips to help you recognize tell-tale signs of consumer “scams”

The offer sounds too good to be true.

An unbelievable-sounding deal probably is not true.

High-pressure sales tactics.

A swindler often refuses to take no for an answer; he has a sensible-sounding answer for your every hesitation, inquiry, or objection.

Insistence on an immediate decision.

Con artists often say you must make a decision “right now”, and they usually give a reason, like, “This offer will expire soon.”

You are one of just a few people eligible for the offer.

Don’t believe it. Crooks often send out hundreds of thousands – and sometimes millions – of solicitations to consumers across the nation. All they need are a few, gullible consumers to make it worth their while.

Your credit card number is requested for verification.

Do not provide your credit card number (or even just its expiration date) if you are not making a purchase, even if you are asked for it for “identification” or “verification” purposes, or to prove “eligibility” for the offer.

You are urged to provide money quickly.

A crook may try to impress upon you the urgency of making an immediate decision by offering to send a delivery service to your home or office to pick up your check.

There is no risk.

All investments have some risk, except for U.S. Government obligations. And if you are dealing with a swindler, any “money-back guarantee” made will simply not be honored.

You are given no detailed written information.

If you must send money or provide a credit card number before the caller gives you the details in writing, be skeptical. Do not accept excuses such as, “It’s such a new offer we don’t have any written materials yet,” or “You’ll get written information after you pay.”

You are asked to trust the telemarketer.

A con artist, unable to get you to take the bait with all of his other gimmicks, may ask you to “trust” him.

You are told you have won a prize, but you must pay for something before you can receive it.

This payment can either be a requirement to purchase a minimum order of cleaning supplies or vitamins, or it can be a shipping/handling charge or a processing fee. Do not deal with a promoter who uses this tactic.

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