“Take-Their-Money” & Disappear Schemes

Most people make major financial expenditures without really looking at all the facts. This kind of action is downright dangerous and certainly not smart. The ultimate cost and alternative possibilities are seldom considered when someone is swept along in a desire to acquire a new home, car, business or other personal investment.


Beware of retail sales advertisements. Buying a $50 item that is on sale for $40 is not a $10 savings if you did not need the item in the first place. It is actually an unnecessary $40 expense!


A number of publications and 900 phone services list government surplus and different types of auctions at a cost of $30 to $100. Charging anything more than a few dollars for this information is an overcharge. And 900 calls are charged to you. Despite what you may think from these companies’ ads, information on public and private auctions is free and readily available.


Classified newspaper ads like the one below are often the opening pitch for what dozens of local Better Business Bureaus report as the fastest-growing category of consumer fraud:


“Financial Problems? Bad Credit? No Credit? Loans/debt consolidations to $20K. 800-XXX-XXXX.”


According to USA Today, New York City and Dallas each recently reported 4,000 complaints and inquiries; Phoenix had 6,000 and Cincinnati had 8,000. Consumers who respond are easily pre-approved for a loan. They’ll receive it once they send an application fee or processing fee of several hundred dollars. The new loan, of course, never materializes.


State consumer protection agencies are finding that loan brokers are often a slippery bunch. Following thousands of complaints, Florida swiftly shut down more than 100 companies. But they soon show up in other states under different names.


Ask questions, check the answers and consider all the facts before making that purchase or investing those hard-earned dollars. Always standing close by are those with their hands out, more than willing to take your savings from you. Don’t let it happen to you. Be prepared, investigate and then invest!

Content © Rich Brott, 2011

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