When we asked you to tell us your car mechanic scam stories, by far the most common mentioned was “dirty air filter trick.” The mechanic shows the customer a dirty air filter and charges them for the part and installation. The trick? it’s actually a prop filter they keep around to snooker unwary drivers.
They cut a slit in the back of the wrapping and then the guy got nervous and said “I left something in the car,” and booked. What had appeared to be a 50″ flat screen TV was actually plywood wrapped in black tape.
One of our readers recently complained about a shady dealership mechanic trying to sell him on replacing his whole rear differential on his car for $3,800, when all he really needed was his fluids to get flushed for about $160.
The takeaway from this story about a roofing company that went under, taking people’s deposits with it, is to never pay for a job in full and up front. If the company stipulates this, the BBB says it’s a big red flag.
Audrey’s mentally disabled uncle was snookered by a mall skin care kiosk worker into buying $300 worth of product he doesn’t need. When his niece found out, the kiosk refused to do a refund saying it was “against policy.” Now her special needs uncle has only $40 left to live on for the week and the kiosk manager is ducking her calls.
This gal was looking to make ends meet by doing finding a part-time work-at-home gig, and ended up getting accused of committing felony fraud.
Reader Paul was trying to enjoy fried pop tarts at an outdoor city festival in his hometown when his debit card was nearly stolen by a fake ATM. Someone had modified an arcade cabinet and placed it outside a bank where it had captured the overflow traffic spilling out of the bank lobby.
You’re gonna die. Why make your family suffer even more by burdening them with the cost of your funeral? That’s the pitch made by companies that try to get you to pay for your funeral years in advance. But, in most cases, you’re better off putting your money into normal savings accounts or life insurance instead.
LiveCheap uncovers ways in which grocery stores make you pay more for less with subtle techniques you may not easily notice. It seems supermarkets can get mighty sketchy when it comes to arranging its meat section.
We busted the trusts! Oil! Rail! Coal! Kapow! You just got Tafted! Yeah, but that was a century ago. Industries have had more than enough time to mutate and adapt, especially when it comes to technology, and figure out new anti-consumer ways to develop and maintain hegemony. You get higher prices, lower product quality, and fewer rights. They get more yachts to waterski behind. In no particular order, here are some of the top 7 legalized ripoffs consumers face today:
A new Craigslist scam is targeting your cellphone. Sellers report getting a message from a “serious buyer” who is busy “at work” and “can’t contact” them now. The fictional buyer says they “use a website that can save information” and asks the seller to “leave your phone number there” so they can call you after they “get home to arrange a meeting.” Based on one users’ experience, the site, which has already been pulled, then starts cramming $9.95/month monthly charges onto any cellphone number that gets entered. Here is one of the scam emails:
Next time you get your ticket from the parking garage dispenser, better grab a clock.
Reader Dan reports that salespeople from the “Just Energy” ESCO are going around his Park Slope neighborhood, banging on doors and incessantly ringing doorbells. Their opening gambit it to say they’re there to “make sure every bill payer in the house is signed up for the ConEd and National Grid price protection insurance program.” A warning by the Citizens Utility Board says the company routinely poses as representatives of other energy companies…
This weekend was supposed to be the Boston 411 Spring Home & Bridal Show, but it was cancelled at the last minute. Now police are saying that the entire thing was an elaborate scam that pulled in money from attendees and vendors, raking in more than $150,000 over the past five months. The scammers used a website, Facebook page and Twitter account to promote the event, used PayPal to accept payments, sold fake hotel room reservations and issued fake conference passes. Boston police and the FBI are investigating, but so far nobody has been taken into custody.
New York’s Attorney General has subpoenaed 22 retailers as part of an investigation into the allegedly deceptive practices of internet “discount clubs” Webloyalty, Affinion and Vertrue. “We want it stopped. We believe it is a classic consumer fraud,” said Cuomo.