Bogus Weight-Loss Products, Fraudulent Prizes Top List Of Biggest Scams

Bogus Weight-Loss Products, Fraudulent Prizes Top List Of Biggest Scams

More than 1-in-10 American adults fall victim to some sort of fraud, according to a new report from the Federal Trade Commission. And scams related to fraudulent weight-loss products are by far the most prevalent. [More]

(Charles Williams)

Drugs Approved Due To Fraudulent Research Still On Market, FDA Shrugs

The lower prices that come from competition when drug patents expire and generic versions hit the market is great for consumers, but do you know what’s terrible for consumers? Drugs that don’t work. Yet there may be drugs on your shelf at home right now that haven’t been proven safe, effective, and––in the case of generics–– equivalent to the original brand-name drug. The alleged poor practices by six chemists at one research company in Texas affected more than one hundred drugs on the market in the United States and Europe. [More]

Scoot!

Scooter Store Files For Bankruptcy After Overbilling Medicare At Least $47 Million

If you watch daytime TV or have been stuck watching daytime TV while visiting your parents, surely you’re familiar with The Scooter Store. The power wheelchair vendor has had some trouble lately, including accusations of Medicare and Medicaid fraud, a raid by the FBI, and even a lawsuit from the company’s hometown, of New Braunfels, Texas. The company laid off most of its employees, and plans to deal directly with health care providers, rather than blanketing the airwaves and selling directly to consumers. [More]

eBay now allows acquaintances of the seller to bid, so long as they follow the rules.

Should Sellers’ Friends & Family Be Allowed To Place Bids On eBay Items?

For years, eBay forbid friends, family and employees of a seller from bidding on that seller’s items out of concern about “shill bidding,” i.e., that they would increase the price with no intention of buying. Then during the summer, eBay quietly changed that policy to make it more flexible. [More]

(stevelyon)

Buying An iPad From Some Guy At A Gas Station Isn’t Such A Good Idea

If some random person pulls up to you at a gas station and asks you if you’d like to buy an iPad for $200, go with your gut instinct. Unless your gut instinct tells you that this sounds like a really great idea. It isn’t. A Texas woman did just that. Now she’s stuck with an iPad that only lets her do one thing: have one-sided FaceTime conversations. Because it’s a mirror. [More]

(Scoboco)

Man Pulled Down $70K A Week By Crawling On Movie Theater Floors To Steal Credit Cards

Anyone carrying a bag into the movies knows there’s basically only one thing you can do with it: you place that purse/man bag/tote/shopping bag/whathaveyou on the ground and no one drops their soda on the ground nearby. A Connecticut man saw all those bags as a way to make some easy money, crawling around on movie theater floors to steal up to $70,000 a week. [More]

You Still Shouldn't Keep A Large Balance In Your Skype Account

You Still Shouldn't Keep A Large Balance In Your Skype Account

Manoj has a very important piece of advice for Consumerist readers: don’t carry a large balance in your Skype account. We actually published a post last year entitled, “Here’s Why You Shouldn’t Carry A Large Balance In Your Skype Account,” but it’s an important lesson that bears repeating, like “keep your receipts for major purchases” or “don’t shop at Sears.” [More]

Man Allegedly Commits Insurance Fraud With Fake Dead Cat

Man Allegedly Commits Insurance Fraud With Fake Dead Cat

Back in March 2009, a customer of PEMCO insurance was in a minor car accident, and the company paid out $3,452 for damages to the other driver’s car. Simple enough. No injuries were reported, and no pets in the car. Which is why it caught some PEMCO employees’ attention when the other driver filed a claim two and a half years later, seeking $20,000 for the death of his cat, Tom. The animal was “like a son” to him, he claimed. But “Tom” only existed as photos of someone else’s cats, readily available on the Internet. The state of Washington has charged the man with felony insurance fraud. [More]

Do Not Report Debit Card Holding Your Fraudulent $2 Million Tax Refund Stolen

Do Not Report Debit Card Holding Your Fraudulent $2 Million Tax Refund Stolen

Yes, it is tempting to lie about your income and taxes already paid on your tax return and collect a huge refund. It’s even more tempting to get that massive undeserved refund on a debit card. But that’s totally unusual, and would get the government’s attention, right? Not in Oregon, where a woman has been charged with filing fraudulent return using Turbotax, and spending the $2.1 million prepaid debit card holding her refund. [More]

Fraudulent eBay Buyer Leaves You Minus $1000 And A MacBook Pro

Fraudulent eBay Buyer Leaves You Minus $1000 And A MacBook Pro

Earlier this month, Jacob sold a MacBook Pro on eBay. His buyer appeared to be in Australia, but contacted him after payment and asked to have the computer shipped to Indonesia. Since he’s both a Consumerist reader and a person with a functioning brain, Jacob was wary of this change, suspecting some kind of fraud. He called up eBay to see what he should do. The customer service representative told him that he needed to mail the laptop, or it would negatively affect his seller account. So he sent it along, then heard from eBay less than 24 hours later that the buyer’s account had been compromised. You don’t say! Now Jacob is out both a laptop and the $1,023.74 payment. [More]

PayPal Leaves Small Business Out $500 And A Snake

PayPal Leaves Small Business Out $500 And A Snake

Shawn runs a small reptile business, selling habitats, supplies, and animals. A customer’s purchase of a $500 snake went smoothly, with payment via PayPal and a critter off to a happy new home. Then the buyer reported the transaction to PayPal as fraudulent. They ruled in the buyer’s favor after an “investigation” that didn’t include talking to Shawn, and took back the $500. Voil√† – free snake. [More]

3 Ways To Spot A Counterfeit Bill

3 Ways To Spot A Counterfeit Bill

If you suspect you’ve been stuck with counterfeit money, you should be able to verify your suspicions with a quick check. Knowing what telltale signs to look for can keep you from being ripped off in a cash transaction. [More]

Wine Dealer Arrested For Allegedly Selling Counterfeit Bottles

Wine Dealer Arrested For Allegedly Selling Counterfeit Bottles

A California wine collector allegedly played off his respected reputation to pawn off cheap imitations of expensive products on unsuspecting customers. Feds arrested the collector, accusing him of selling fake vintages at high-profile auction houses. [More]

Scammers Hit Grocery Store Gift Card Kiosk, Swap Out Empty Cards For New Ones

Scammers Hit Grocery Store Gift Card Kiosk, Swap Out Empty Cards For New Ones

Jeff is a really generous boss. This past holiday season, he gave out $100 gift cards to various stores as gifts to his staff. He picked them up at one of those gift card malls that you see in grocery and drug stores: in this case, at grocery chain Ralph’s. When his employee went to actually use the card this week, it wouldn’t work. Normal gift card snafu? No. The grocery store blames card-switching thieves. [More]

How I Lost $470 To A Vindictive, Abusive, Extortionist eBay Buyer

Justin used to sell on eBay until policy changes made it a more favorable marketplace for buyers than for sellers. But he still has his account and a good feedback rating, so he’s helping a friend sell off some gold coins worth a few hundred bucks each. They’re shipped UPS with signature confirmation and full insurance. The coin itself goes inside a plain envelope, placed inside a sealed cardboard UPS document mailer. This plan worked for 25 shipments, until the buyer from hell wandered into Justin’s life. [More]

My New Kindle Went Astray…Pre-Loaded With My Credit Card Info

My New Kindle Went Astray…Pre-Loaded With My Credit Card Info

The cloud of invisible information that surrounds is is a wonderful thing, but there are dangers as well. Brandon ordered a Kindle as a gift for his girlfriend, and upgraded to one-day shipping, but the package went astray. Amazon overnighted a new Kindle and things were glorious…until Brandon started receiving purchase confirmations of Kindle apps and content using his credit card and e-mail address. His girlfriend wasn’t making the purchases. So who was? [More]

Don't Let Your Parents Fall For Refinancing Scams

Don't Let Your Parents Fall For Refinancing Scams

Your parents may assume they have more financial knowledge than you due to their extensive experience, but you shouldn’t assume the same. New scams pop up all the time to exploit needs and trick people looking for quick fixes. If you can’t protect your parents from these types of financial traps, there’s probably no one who can. [More]

Poker Site Co-Founder Pleads Guilty To Conspiracy

Poker Site Co-Founder Pleads Guilty To Conspiracy

A federal crackdown on online poker sites continues to rake in chips. In a reported plea agreement, a man who co-founded the gambling site Absolute Poker pleaded guilty to conspiracy charges. Federal regulators accused his organization of deceiving banks by masking customers’ gambling charges with names of online retailers. [More]