Consumer Reports Names The Top Consumer Scams

Consumer Reports scoured the “files of dozens of government agencies, industry associations, and consumer groups that track crooked schemes” to find the scammiest scams around.

The results? Hilarious and informative. Here’s a list of the scams:

‘This car’s a cream puff.’
“You just want a reliable car for a good price, but unscrupulous dealers and salespeople have a host of cheap tricks up their sleeves.”

‘You’ve just won ….’

“You get an unsolicited phone call saying that you’ve just won some valuable prize or foreign lottery.”

‘There’s a problem with your bank account.’

“You receive a message via telephone, VoIP, or e-mail referring to a “problem” with your account that can be rectified if you give your Social Security number, account number, or online password to a bogus e-mail address or Web site, enabling identity thieves to steal credit in your name.”

‘This stock is at 50 cents and it’s going to 5 or 6 bucks this week. Buy now!’
“You get a voice mail about a “hot” stock tip that appears to have been left by someone who intended to call a friend but mistakenly dialed your number.”

‘You don’t need a physical to qualify for this low-cost health insurance!’
“An agent offers you or your small business a “union” health plan when you aren’t a union member.”

‘I’ll be back sometime soon to finish your roof.’
“A fly-by-night operator gets you to make a big advance payment and might even begin work. But then he delays, abandons the job altogether, or does poor work.”

‘This investment provides the guaranteed high returns and low risk that seniors like you need.’
“An investment adviser or broker promises above-market returns from a safe, low-risk investment to give your retirement savings a kick.”

‘We move U 4 less.’

“A mover gives you a lowball estimate, takes your household belongings, then holds them hostage until you pay exorbitant and unexpected extra fees.”

‘I’m a political refugee. Help me move millions out of my former country into your bank account.’
“Unsolicited e-mails offer the “opportunity” to share in a percentage of millions of dollars that a self-proclaimed government official is trying to transfer illegally out of a foreign country in return for bank account numbers or other identifying information from the victim.”

‘I wouldn’t go on vacation without this car repair.’
“Dealer or independent repair shops advertise a service at an unbelievably low price, but in this cheap trick the shop finds that added costly parts and service are needed, when they are often unnecessary.”

There’s much more at Consumer Reports. A great article to pass along to your gullible “gas boycott email forwarding”-type friends.

How do bad guys try to defraud thee? [Consumer Reports]