Buyer BEWARE! How to Protect Ourselves Against ALL SCAMS

Scams! They could be dating, IRS or skin care products, in other words, no area is OFF LIMITS FOR SCAMMERS!!!

The beginning of my involvement with “scams,” was back in 2013 when I decided to share with my readers what happened to me, so it would not happen to them too!

At the time, I posted about an unfortunate and costly experience I had when I was naive enough to believe that a product would be mailed to me as a “trial,” for the cost of the shipping and handling only, a reasonable $4.95, but once the company had my credit card number, they started charging monthly amounts, close to $92.95 and not a one time $4.95!

We are now in 2017 and 1,600 comments later, of which approximately are about other people’s experiences of being scammed, I decided to revisit the topic in an attempt to share for everyone’s benefit what I have learned in the last four years from you, the people who cared enough to share their experiences, so that others might be spared the financial and emotional distress, and also what I continued to experience personally in the area of the never ending scamming world we live in!

At first, I attempted to write about a comprehensive list of a majority of companies to avoid. Their names and how they operate. Soon, I discovered these companies CHANGE THEIR NAMES once enough people become aware of their operation. At that point it became useless to even try and compile a list of probable scammers.

Given the proliferation of such businesses, there are a few easy ways to protect ourselves against ALL SCAMS. Of course, nothing is guaranteed, but here are a few suggestions:

1. Buy a PREPAID CREDIT CARD with a small limit and use that card exclusively for your internet purchases. By doing this, at least you avoid large losses.
2. Do business and purchase only through reputable companies which will stand behind the companies they represent. The two reputable umbrella companies that come to mind are Groupon and Amazon.
3. If it looks too good to be true, it probably is! Once I purchased a beautiful, inexpensive jacket from an unknown company. The jacket arrived as expected, but two weeks later, my credit card number was used outside the U.S. and purchases of over $1,000 were made.
4. It is important to belong to a good bank or credit union. What do I mean by it? Over the years, many people reported that their financial institutions refused to dispute in their name. A good financial institution, after you, personally, try and fail to resolve the issue, will stand with you and investigate the issue.
5. If you used a card with a high limit and not as suggested a prepaid card with a small limit, IMMEDIATELY report to your financial institution and have them send you a NEW CARD with new numbers.

A few words about phone scams.

Honestly, in order to be scammed by phone, one MUST first answer the phone. My logic is simple: If it is legitimate and important, they will leave a message. Of course, some scammers have the nerve to leave threatening messages.If you receive such a message, consult with someone you trust about the message or report it to your local authorities.

I guess, I am running out of tips:) but I hope the above helps and I encourage you to continue and share with the community YOUR OWN PREVENTION TIPS and stories.

To a safer world!
Rodica

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