For many low-income consumers, tax time provides an opportunity to catch up on bills and get back on track financially. Unfortunately, there are unscrupulous companies out there that aim to make money of these same consumers by pointing them in the direction of high-cost tax-refund-anticipation loans. That appears to be the case for the owner of New Mexico-based H&R Block franchises and a tax-time loan company operating an alleged illegal tax-refund scheme. [More]
In the coming weeks, some retailers will be offering deals on unsold stock of popular holiday gift items. Sometimes stores are up-front about whether or not a particular product was previously purchased and returned, while many just put these items back into inventory with the truly new stuff. That’s why you need to open up those boxes before you leave the store — or else risk getting home to find you’ve purchased a box of rocks. [More]
As the Washington mudslide death toll continues to rise and many people remain missing, you may feel the urge to donate to charities poised to help the victims. Donating to the cause is commendable, but unfortunately there are evil people in this world who take one person’s misfortune and use it for their personal gain. So the Federal Trade Commission is once again reminding consumers to be wary of charity scams. [More]
How Giving Your Contact Info To “Yellow Page USA” Turns Into Legal Threats And An Invoice For $1,200
What do you do when your company receives a free solicitation for a business listing and Facebook page? You might be tempted to snatch up a good deal, but there’s a good chance that deal will land you in the middle of a widespread scam. That seems to be the case for a New Jersey business owner as he faces threats of lawsuits and other action that could damage his credit. [More]
Making thousands of dollars a month by working from your couch might seem like a dream come true. But don’t quit your day job just yet, because it’s most likely a scam. Fortunately, there’s now one less “work-from-home” scheme seducing consumers thanks to the Federal Trade Commission. [More]
Remember, money can’t buy you love. Especially, if that love costs you more than half a million dollars. That’s how much a San Jose woman lost when she fell victim to an online dating scam. [More]
Scammers are grabbing photos from real estate websites and opening email addresses in homeowners’ names in order to trick wouldbe renters into sending cash in exchange for a lease to a house the scammer doesn’t own. Tricky! [More]
Most investors who put money into Bernard Madoff’s funds over the decades he was in business came up losers when the house of cards collapsed. Some, however, lost more than others. According to a new court filing, about half of the investors who had accounts in Madoff’s Ponzi scheme at the time it was shut down didn’t actually lose any of the original principal they put into the funds.
Energy scammers are still stalking the good people of Brooklyn, according to the Gowanus Lounge. Not only are they going door-to-door, but now they’re calling, too. Remember: if some stranger calls claiming that they are from a company you do business with and asks you to “confirm you account information,” tell them you’ll call them back at their usual number and hang up. [Gowanus Lounge] (Thanks, Chris!)
Here it is folks, your semi-annual reminder that FreeCreditReport is not free. Free credit reports can be found at AnnualCreditReport.com. FreeCreditReport.com is a pay site. As in you will be billed. As in not free.
Something shady may be afoot at a Central Florida Wachovia branch…two customers say that a teller gave them counterfeit bills, according to Local 6 news in Orlando. The bank is refusing to give them a refund, claiming that they have no way of knowing if those counterfeit bills are the same ones the teller gave out, but Local 6 says that they’ve learned that Wachovia previously gave a customer with a similar story a refund.
A reader writes: “Another day, another energy scammer in Brooklyn. This was the most misleading one yet—a man was walking around and banging on every door up and down the hallways of my building—identifying himself as having been “sent by building management about our ConEd bill.” So I ran and got my video camera, which also serves as a digital voice recorder. Here is the conversation…The gentleman vacillated between telling the truth, misleading me and completely lying.”
When I ordered flowers for my wife, I added a $14.99 box of chocolates, but got an .88 cent box of peanuts
Reader Aaron writes in to complain about a “scam” that he can’t believe is legal. Many of you know about this little marketing tactic, and we’ve written about it before, but some of you probably do not.
Blunt Money has opened up an interesting thread about giving (or not giving) to beggars. Some of the comments bring back memories:
The Connecticut Attorney General has announced a lawsuit against Best Buy in regards to a secret internal website that is identical to their public website except for the prices. Consumerist has received reports of this website being used to attempt to trick our readers as recently as March 19, 2007.
Kevin purchased two DVD and CDR spindles using CompUSA’s “In-Store Pick-Up” option; when he got to the store, the price doubled. Kevin had already handed over his credit card information and had a printed receipt. Why did the price double?
Jiffy Lube charged Carlo for an oil change. They even warned his car suffered from a transmission fluid leak and an excessive oil leak. Only one problem: They hadn’t looked at the car.
When I came back, they told me that my car was ready and even pointed out that my car had a transmission fluid leak and excessive oil leak. They even said that they replaced my filters and window wipers. I agreed to the charges and paid for it. After five minutes, the cashier comes back and tells me that my car hasn’t been serviced, yet.
Carlo’s car was a chameleon. They thought the car was green, even though Carlo told them it was “bluish-green.” Well, that explains everything. Carlo had been a Jiffy Lube customer for six years. Now, he will service his car elsewhere.