Robert Allen promises to make you millions teaching you how to buy real estate with no money down. Unsurprisingly, Ripoffreport is littered with complaints about his company and those that use his name. Here’s the story they tell:
Despite Subprime Implosion, Robert Allen's Troops Still Pitch "Get Rich Quick In Real Estate With No Money Down"
Dave was $23,000 in the debt hole. He had a wife, a 6-month old daughter, a Masters in Advertising, and a dead-end waitering job. Then he heard an ad on the radio for a “debt relief law firm” that promised to solve all his problems. “Looking back, it was so stupid to agree to any of this,” writes Dave. “I still beat myself up about it and we were lucky to find out everything was falling apart when we did.” Here’s what went wrong:
The various takeovers and mergers in the financial fallout give phishers a new opportunity to try to scam you into giving over your bank account warns the FTC. As most of you know, any unexpected email message that looks like it came from a financial institution, asking you to “update,” “validate,” or “confirm” your account information is invariably a scam. Unwitting victims are redirected to a login site that looks like it’s for their bank, but is really just a way to steal your account logins and/or personal information for use in further identity theft. Here’s the FTC’s tips for getting “hooked” by the “phishers” (gotta love it when the Feds pun)…
Watch out, grannie, there’s a new scam out there and they’ve got your number. Like we told you last week, conmen are calling up elderly folk and using social engineering to pose as their grandchildren, and they need money money fast. Usually they say they were traveling in Canada and just got in a car accident and need thousands of dollars for repairs or bail. How do the scammers fool the grandparents?
If you’re getting dental implant work done, you may want to ask if they outsource to other countries. A KPHO investigation bought 13 crowns from labs in China, Thailand and the US. Ten of them came back positive for lead, with levels from 110 parts per million to 240 parts per million. The problem may be from the surface stain used to whiten and brighten the teeth. Throughout history, lead has been used in paints because it’s bright, cheap, and highly durable.
The FDA has banned the import of 30 different generic drugs made by Ranbaxy due to unresolved ongoing concerns about quality controls in the manufacturing process. Some of them are popular, like a generic for Zocor. The complete list inside. If you’re taking any of the affected drugs, keep taking them. The FDA found no evidence to suggest any consumers are at risk. If you have concerns, consult your doctor.
When insurers don’t pay the full amount of the bill, health-care providers are going after patients to make up the difference. It’s known as “balance billing,” and it’s often illegal, BusinessWeek reports. Under state and federal laws, doctors and hospitals generally need to be dealing with the insurers, instead of pressuring vulnerable patients. Have you had any success with fighting balance billing? Leave your story in the comments.
Parents are complaining online that Carter’s line of “tagless” baby clothes could be responsible for causing rashes and sores on babies. Instead of a traditional tag on the inside back of the shirt, a “tagless” has a solid silk-screen flat label. Carter’s is said to be aware of the problem and that it’s limited to their Fall 2007 line of tagless infant clothing. One blogger described the effect the shirt had on her daughter, writing, “Her back will turn very red and start oozing right where the tag (stamp) is in the back, the rash will appear as the exact size and shape of the stamp. The redness will then spread out from there.” Googling “carters tagless” reveals a number of parents complaining about the same issue. I smell class action lawsuit.
There’s 4 main ways a gas pump can screw you over:
According to legends we’ve heard, it’s possible to find a job by searching online. Flimflammers are also looking for you, looking to defraud job seekers. The BBB has 7 red flags to should watch out for that could indicate that job opportunity is just a scam.
Enjoy yourselves out there this 4th, folks, but do remember to be careful with those fireworks, as seen in this edited version of the CPSC fireworks safety video set to Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture. It’s funny when mannequins blow up. Your hands, jeans, or the desk in front of your face, not so much.
There’s more to the story about the person who died from drinking lamp oil. One 84-year-old NJ lady died after mistaking tiki torch oil for apple juice. 4 other NJ residents were hospitalized after doing the same. One of them was an 8-year old girl, now suffering permanent lung damage. Oddly, the victims were located in separate parts of the state. NJ Poison Information and Education System executive director Steve Marcus told Gothamist, “During my 40 years in medicine, you get an occasional kid who ingests kerosene, but I have never seen this kind of cluster.” (The Happening Part 2? Neurotoxins disable the part of people’s brains that makes them distinguish between household cleaners and refreshing beverages?) All of them drank the same product, oil in a clear plastic bottle labeled “Tiki Torch Fuel,” sold by Lamplight Farms, Inc. Amber in color, it’s visually indistinguishable from apple juice. Don’t forget to always keep chemicals under the sink and away from food, and always in original bottles. That some of these almost seem designed to look like tasty energy drinks doesn’t help matters.
After Nebraska Beef, Ltd., recalled 531,707 pounds of beef for a possible E.coli contamination, Kroger is recalling beef from its stores and from stores selling beef under its label. The recall includes nearly all kinds and weights of ground beef with Kroger labels sold between 5/21 and 6/08. The sell-by date on them will fall between 5/21 and 6/05. Not included are ground beef in sealed tubes in 1,3, or 5lb sizes, or Frozen Beef Patties or Ground Beef Patties found in the frozen food aisle. Other caveats apply and there may be more updates, check the Kroger Recall page for the latest information. E.coli can cause food poisoning or even death. If you have any of this meat, you can either throw it away or return it to Kroger for a full refund.
Reader Mike reports he got screwed buying a used TiVo off eBay. It turned out 1) It would need a new $20 access card for DirecTV to activate it and 2) DirecTV wouldn’t authorize sending a new access card because the box was linked to a defaulted account. The lesson Mike says he learned is that, “If anyone plans on buying any used DirectTV equipment make sure you call DirectTV with the Serial Number and RID number off the unit BEFORE you purchase it to make sure it’s not coming from a defaulted account. If not, you chance buying an electronic brick.” This is true when buying other used electronic service items with service contracts linked to them, like cellphones.
I was ripped off to the tune of $5620. They refused for 3 years to refund my money. Then they told me I have I have no recourse. It was electronic funds transfer for personal training that I never authorized. The people who did it were fired shortly after. It had happened to several other members, and most of the cases were settled. Except mine.
Consumers report receiving automated message calls from a service calling itself “The Jobline” where you’re told they have jobs for you if you call back, but it turns out it’s just a scam. If you call the number back, you will get charged $9 per minute, according to messages left in online forums where people share information on telemarketing numbers. They seem to be using the number 976-4477 in different area codes. A scam targeting people already hard up for work and money, that’s pretty high on the Richter scale of sleaziness.
Dateline did a hidden camera investigation into the world of shady annuity salesmen targeting seniors and playing on their emotions to lock their life savings away in funds they may never live to receive the benefit from, or pay stiff penalties, not disclosed in the sales pitch, for early withdrawal. In this clip, Dateline producers attended “Annuity University,” a two-day session run by Tyrone Clark to teach them how to sell to elders. He settled with the state of Massachusetts after he published a sales pamphlet that told salespeople to treat seniors “like they were selling to a twelve year old” and to hit their “fear, anger, and greed buttons” to make the sale. He also sells questionable self-promotional tools and services. In one of them, a fake radio guy will call up the salesperson and interview them like they’re a financial expert on the radio. The session is recorded and the salesman gets CDs to pass out, so they can pass themselves off as legitimate financial advisers. Video, inside…
Hospitals are reusing medical devices labeled as “one-time use” to save money. [WSJ]