Avoid Being Scammed
While million dollar bank robberies make all the headlines, you are much more likely to be cheated out of your hard earned money through a local scam. The average person isprobably cheated out of thousands of dollars over a lifetime. How can you avoid being victimized by high interest rates, poorly builtmerchandise, inadequate services, and fraudulent schemes? The following guide won't make you rich, but itmay help you side-step your next financial pitfall.
Beware unexpected inheritance scams.
There are many websites out there that will scam you by offering to search for money owed to you through estates of dead relatives, the government, or any number of places. The first thing you should be thinking - why would some random companyoffer you something for nothing in return? They aren't. Even the companies that charge you for this service have shown tovery rarely find any money for you. Beware!
Be skeptical of economic devices.
When a company advertises a product that will save you money, know that they are trying to MAKE money. I recently saw an ad for a green lawnmower. It saves you moneyand reduces emissions by notrequiring gasoline. It turns out thatthis lawnmower is an overpriced push mower. The company is charging a premium because it is "green". All push mowers are green! A similar scam is used by some police radar companies. Many do not work against the technology used in police radars. Do your research to see if you will actually save any money bypurchasing a new product.
Don't fall for sob stories.
Many salespeople use fake sob stories to get you to feel sympathetic. Sympathetic customers are more inclined to purchase a product. Don't fall prey to this trick. Not everyone has a moral compass in the business world.
Private sales aren't usually private.
The word "private" often sounds exclusive, which brings in buyers. Private sales are often easy to attend, and there are rarely bargains.
Don't pay for a neighbor's package.
This is a classic scam. A scammer will ring your doorbell and ask you to pay for a package that your neighbor ordered. The package turns out to be junk that was never ordered.
Free inspections are never free.
When mostbusiness people offer a free inspection, they do so because they intend on finding something wrong, even when there is nothing to find. I oncehad abody shop show me a dirty air filter that needed to be replaced. If that air filter had been mine, I would have replaced it. My air filter was still in the car.
Watch out for cheap mail products.
When you pay before seeing a product, it is difficult to assess the quality of the product. You may get stuck with something of very poor quality.
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Winning a prize won't cost you money.
Some stores will provide you with "store credit prizes" only good after you spend $100 or more. I've also seen vacation prizes where 3 nights worth of ahotel stay ispaid for if you stay 7 nights. They just increase the price of the other 4 nights so they don't lose money.
A very disturbing scam is when someone claims that your dearly departed ordered a product just before death. Don't pay anyone until you can verify that a debt did in fact exist.
Avoid the bait and switch.
Car dealerships are notorious for this scam. They bait you into the dealership with an advertisement for a vehicle that they tell you was "just sold". Before you can leave, the salesperson will likely try to switch you into test driving a pricieralternative that is "just perfect for you".
Negotiate for a better interest rate.
Purchasing on credit can make a product cost much more than you initially paid for it. Shop around and haggle for a low rate. When you are ready to purchase, make a sizeable down payment to decrease the interest even further. Most importantly, always know the interest rates of your debts. Paying off lower interest loans first is like flushing your money down the toilet.
The #1 way to avoid scams and financial blunders is to read and understand everything you sign.
I'll admit that I have fallen prey to this myself. Legal jargon is complicated. Don't be afraid to delay signing a document until you thoroughly understand everything. Hire an attorney if needed. I literally saved thousands of dollars by having a contract attorney read my closing contract on my first home purchase. Just because all of the blank spaces are filled in doesn't mean that they are filled in appropriately or that you should agree to the terms. Contracts are not set in stone until you sign them.
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Posted in Business Service Post Date 09/14/2015