Tuesday, September 22, 2009

How To Avoid Getting Scammed

Quick question: the last time you were at the mall, did you see a car on display that could be won?  I did.  Just fill out this card and you will be entered to win a new SUV...sounds great, doesn't?  Ever wonder who actually wins?  Ever wonder if EVERYBODY "wins"?  How would you know?

In the current economy, it's easy to be lured to contests such as this that offer fantastic prizes or trips.  I learned from a friend recently about another one going on.  In this case, the "winner" was chosen to win a trip to Orlando, Vegas, or Hawaii and a $1000 grocery card.  Sounds great, doesn't?  Funny, it seems like the telescammers move from offering gas cards to grocery cards probably depending on what seems to be rising faster.  (They somewhat move in tandem).  Since it sounded too good to be true, I did a bit of research and found out that the company had been referring people to a program that is basically an expensive coupon clipping service.  You can see the complaint here on Complaints Board.  What's more is that in order to claim this $1000 card, one has to attend a hotel ballroom-style presentation (timeshare) for an hour and a half.  You will be subject to over-hyped, high pressure sales tactics from beautiful people designed to get you excited.  Although there is no obligation, you will no doubt feel pressure from the sales team.

Next time before you take advantage of an offer that sounds outlandish, check out sites like RipOffReport or Complaints Board, or simply search for scam + [name of company, or prize].  Lastly, be careful with any hotel ballroom presentation.  They seem to follow a common pattern.