What To Do If You Got Scammed?

by Rudolf Faix Friday, November 6, 2015 12:41 AM

Mouse Trap - scammedAuthorities may not always be able to take action against scams, even if it seems like a scammer might have broken the law. Although it may be hard to recover any money that you have lost to a scam, there are steps you can take to reduce the damage and avoid becoming a target for a follow-up scam. The more quickly you act, as larger is your chance of reducing your losses. Report a scam. By reporting the scam to authorities, they may be able to warn other people about the scam and minimize the chances of the scam spreading further. You should also warn your friends and family of any scams that you come across.

If you have been tricked into signing a contract or buying a product or service

Contact your provincial or territorial consumer affairs office and consider getting independent advice to examine your options: there may be a cooling-off period or you may be able to negotiate a refund.

If you think someone has gained access to your online account, telephone banking account or credit card details

Call your financial institution immediately so they can suspend your account and limit the amount of money you lose. Credit card companies may also be able to perform a "charge back" (reverse the transaction) if they believe that your credit card was billed fraudulently. Do not use contact details that appear in emails or on websites that you are suspicious of - they will probably be fake and lead you to a scammer. You can find legitimate contact details in the phone book, an account statement or on the back of your ATM card. 

If the scam relates to your health

Stop taking any pills or substances that you are not sure about. See a doctor or other qualified medical professional as soon as you can. Be sure to tell them about the treatment that the scammer sold (take along any substances, including their packaging). Also tell them if you have stopped any treatment that you were taking before the scam.

If you have sent money to someone that you think may be a scammer

If you sent your credit card details, follow the instructions in the section opposite.

If you sent money through an electronic funds transfer (over the Internet), contact your financial institution immediately. If they have not already processed the transfer, they may be able to cancel it.

If you sent a cheque, contact your financial institution immediately. If the scammer hasn’t already cashed your cheque, they may be able to cancel it.

If you sent money through a wire service (such as Western Union or Money Gram), contact the wire service immediately.

If you are very quick, they may be able to stop the transfer.

If you have been tricked by a door-to-door seller

You may be protected by laws that provide you with a "cooling-off" period, during which you can cancel an agreement or contract that you signed. Contact your provincial or territorial consumer affairs office for advice about door-to-door sales laws.

If you have been scammed using your computer

If you were using your computer when you got scammed, it is possible that a virus or other malicious software is still on your computer. Run a full system check using reliable security software.

If you do not have security software (such as virus scanners and a firewall) installed on your computer, a computer professional can help you choose what you need.

Scammers may have also gained access to your online passwords. Change these using a secure computer.

If the scam involves your mobile phone

Call your telephone provider and let them know what has happened.

 

Cooling-off Period

by Rudolf Faix Thursday, November 5, 2015 11:32 PM

JudgeIn consumer rights legislation and practice, a cooling-off period is a period of time following a purchase when the purchaser may choose to cancel a purchase and return goods which have been supplied for any reason and obtain a full refund.

In addition, legislation exists in various parts of the world enforcing this right, to varying degrees. For example, in the European Union, the Consumer Rights Directive of 2011 obliges member states to give purchasers the right to return goods or cancel services purchased from a business away from a normal commercial premises, such as online, mail order, or door-to-door, with limited exceptions, within two weeks from the receipt of the goods, for a full refund

Each country has its own rules for the cooling-off period. Here are only listed the most important rules. Please visit the provided link to read all the rules.

 

Australia

Source: Australian Competition and Consumer Commission

Telemarketers are not allowed to call consumers:

  • on Sundays or public holidays
  • before 9am or after 8pm on weekdays
  • before 9am or after 5pm on Saturdays

 

Cancellation rights (cooling-off):

  • The salesperson must tell to the consumer about his cooling off rights. The consumer can change his mind and cancel the contract for any reason without penalty within 10 business days

  • If the consumer bought goods that cost $500 or less, the salesperson can supply these goods immediately during the cooling-off period but the consumer still have the right to cancel the contract

  • The salesperson cannot take payment during the cooling-off period for any goods or services and cannot supply any services.

  • The consumer has 10 business days to cool-off or cancel the agreement, starting the first business day after receiving the agreement document.

  • The consumer can terminate the agreement verbally or in writing any time during the cooling-off period. Written termination can be delivered personally, sent via post, emailed or sent via fax. The agreement will be cancelled from the day you give notice

  • The trader must promptly return or refund any money paid under the agreement or a related contract

  • Even if the consumer has partially or completely used the goods supplied by the salesperson under the agreement he still has cooling-off rights during the specified period

  • The salesperson must not try to convince the consumer to waive your rights to cool off.

Canada

Source: Office of Consumer Affairs (OCA)

In some provinces and territories, there is an automatic cancellation (or cooling-off) period for certain types of contracts. Examples include contracts for services such as credit, dating clubs, health clubs, funeral and cemetery services, time-shares, condominiums, natural gas, electricity and door-to-doorsales. The cooling-off period is valid whether the company tells you about it or not.

To find out more about the cooling-off period in your area contact Your Provincial or Territorial Consumer Affairs Office.

 

New Zealand

Source: Consumer. now you know

Every agreement for an uninvited direct sale must be in writing and expressed in plain language. You must be given a copy of the agreement either at the time you sign, or if the agreement is made over the phone within 5 working days.

The agreement must:
  • clearly describe the goods or services being supplied

  • show the total price payable and any other consideration to be given (or how this is calculated if it’s uncertain at the time you sign)

  • inform you of your right to cancel

  • list the trader’s name, street address, phone number and email, and your name and street address

  • show the date it was signed.

If the trader fails to give you this information, the agreement can’t be enforced (except if the failure is minor and has not materially disadvantaged you).

 

United Kingdom

Source: Which? Consumer Rights

At a distance or face-to-face off-premises the following key information has to be given:
  • a description of the goods or service, including how long any commitment will last on the part of the consumer 

  • the total price of the goods or service, or the manner in which the price will be calculated if this can’t be determined

  • cost of delivery and details of who pays for the cost of returning items if you have a right to cancel and change your mind

  • details of any right to cancel - the trader also needs to provide, or make available, a standard cancellation form to make cancelling easy (although you aren’t under any obligation to use it)

  • information about the seller, including their geographical address and phone number

  • information on the compatibility of digital content with hardware and other software is also part of the information traders are obliged to provide  

  • Your right to cancel an order starts the moment you place your order and ends 14 days from the day you receive it

  • Your right to cancel a service starts the moment you enter into the contract and lasts 14 days

  • If you want to download digital content within the 14 day cancellation period you must agree to waive your cancellation rights 

  • Companies are not allowed to charge you for items they put in your online shopping basket or that you have bought as a result of a pre-ticked box

 

United States of America

Source: Federal Trade Commission

FTC Approves Changes to Cooling-Off Rule:

The FTC has approved a final amendment to its Cooling-Off Rule, increasing the exclusionary limit for certain “door-to-door” sales. The Cooling-Off Rule previously provided that it is unfair and deceptive for sellers engaged in “door-to-door” sales valued at more than $25 to fail to provide consumers with disclosures regarding their right to cancel the sales contract within three business days of the transaction. Under the amended rule, the definition of “door-to-door sales” distinguishes between sales at a buyer’s residence and those at other locations. The revised definition retains coverage for sales made at a buyer’s residence at a purchase price of $25 or more, and it increases the purchase price to $130 or more for all other covered sales at temporary locations. The revised definition recognizes that concern regarding high-pressure sales tactics and deception during in-home solicitations is greater than when sales are made away from consumers’ homes. Therefore, the Commission concluded that raising the value to $130 for non-home sales would reduce compliance burdens for sellers while still protecting consumers.

Full telemarketing rules: https://www.ftc.gov/tips-advice/business-center/guidance/complying-telemarketing-sales-rule#refund

 

Fraud Target: Senior Citizens

by Rudolf Faix Saturday, July 11, 2015 5:56 AM

two seniors drinking red wineIf you are age 60 or older- and especially if you are an older woman living alone - you may be a special target of people who sell bogus products and services by telephone. Telemarketing scams often involve offers of free prizes, low-cost vitamins and health care products, and inexpensive vacations.:

  • Senior citizens are most likely to have a "nest egg," to own their home, and/or to have excellent credit - all of which make them attractive to con artists.

  • People who grew up in the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s were generally raised to be polite and trusting. Con artists exploit these traits, knowing that it is difficult or impossible for these individuals to say "no" or just hang up the telephone.

  • Older people are less likely to report a fraud because they don’t know who to report it to, are too ashamed at having been scammed, or don’t know they have been scammed. Elderly victims may not report crimes, for example, because they are concerned that relatives may think the victims no longer have the mental capacity to take care of their own financial affairs.

  • When an elderly victim does report the crime, they often make poor witnesses. Con artists know the effects of age on memory, and they are counting on elderly victims not being able to supply enough detailed information to investigators. In addition, the victims’ realization that they have been swindled may take weeks - or more likely, months - after contact with the fraudster. This extended time frame makes it even more difficult to remember details from the events.

  • Senior citizens are more interested in and susceptible to products promising increased cognitive function, virility, physical conditioning, anti-cancer properties, and so on. In a country where new cures and vaccinations for old diseases have given hope for a long and fruitful life, it is not so unbelievable that the con artists’ products can do what they claim.

There are warning signs to these scams. If you hear these - or similar - "lines" from a telephone salesperson, just say "no thank you," and hang up the telephone:

  • "You must act now, or the offer won’t be good."

  • "You’ve won a free gift, vacation, or prize." But you have to pay for "postage and handling" or other charges.

  • "You must send money, give a credit card or bank account number, or have a check picked up by courier." You may hear this before you have had a chance to consider the offer carefully.

  • "You don’t need to check out the company with anyone." The callers say you do not need to speak to anyone, including your family, lawyer, accountant, local Better Business Bureau, or consumer protection agency.

  • "You don’t need any written information about the company or its references."

  • "You can’t afford to miss this high-profit, no-risk offer."

 

It’s very difficult to get your money back if you’ve been cheated over the telephone. Before you buy anything by telephone, remember:

  • Don’t buy from an unfamiliar company. Legitimate businesses understand that you want more information about their company and are happy to comply.

  • Always ask for and wait until you receive written material about any offer or charity. If you get brochures about costly investments, ask someone whose financial advice you trust to review them. But, unfortunately, beware-not everything written down is true.

  • Always check out unfamiliar companies with your local consumer protection agency, Better Business Bureau, state attorney general, the National Fraud Information Center, or other watchdog groups. Unfortunately, not all bad businesses can be identified through these organizations.

  • Obtain a salesperson’s name, business identity, telephone number, street address, mailing address, and business license number before you transact business. Some con artists give out false names, telephone numbers, addresses, and business license numbers. Verify the accuracy of these items.

  • Before you give money to a charity or make an investment, find out what percentage of the money is paid in commissions and what percentage actually goes to the charity or investment.

  • Before you send money, ask yourself a simple question. "What guarantee do I really have that this solicitor will use my money in the manner we agreed upon?"

  • Don’t pay in advance for services. Pay services only after they are delivered.

  • Be wary of companies that want to send a messenger to your home to pick up money, claiming it is part of their service to you. In reality, they are taking your money without leaving any trace of who they are or where they can be reached.

  • Always take your time making a decision. Legitimate companies won’t pressure you to make a snap decision.

  • Don’t pay for a "free prize." If a caller tells you the payment is for taxes, he or she is violating federal law.

  • Before you receive your next sales pitch, decide what your limits are-the kinds of financial information you will and won’t give out on the telephone.

  • Be sure to talk over big investments offered by telephone salespeople with a trusted friend, family member, or financial advisor. It’s never rude to wait and think about an offer.

  • Never respond to an offer you don’t understand thoroughly.

  • Never send money or give out personal information such as credit card numbers and expiration dates, bank account numbers, dates of birth, or social security numbers to unfamiliar companies or unknown persons.

  • Be aware that your personal information is often brokered to telemarketers through third parties.

  • If you have been victimized once, be wary of persons who call offering to help you recover your losses for a fee paid in advance.

  • If you have information about a fraud, report it to state, local, or federal law enforcement agencies.

 

Health and Medical Scams

by Rudolf Faix Saturday, July 11, 2015 5:38 AM

Drug: Miracle CureMedical scams prey on human suffering. They offer solutions where none exist or promise to simplify complex health treatments.

Miracle cure scams offer a range of products and services that can appear to be legitimate alternative medicines, usually promising quick and effective remedies for serious medical conditions. The treatments claim to be effective against a very wide range of ailments and are often promoted using testimonials from people who have used the product or service and have been "cured".

Weight loss scams promise dramatic weight loss with little or no effort. This type of scam may involve an unusual or restrictive diet, revolutionary exercise or "fat-busting" devices, or breakthrough products such as pills, patches or creams. The products are promoted with the use of false claims such as "lose 10 kilos in 10 days" or "lose weight while you sleep", and often require large advance payments or that you enter into a long-term contract to participate in the program.

Fake online pharmacies use the Internet and spam emails to offer drugs and medicine at very cheap prices and/or without the need for a prescription from a doctor. If you use such a service and you actually do receive the products in response to your order, there is no guarantee that they are the real thing.

There are legitimate online pharmacies. These businesses will have their full contact details listed on their website and will also require a valid prescription before they send out any medicine that requires one

Protect yourself:

  • There are no magic pills, miracle cures or safe options for serious medical conditions or rapid weight loss.

  • Never commit to anything under pressure.

  • Don’t trust an unsubstantiated claim about medicines, supplements or other treatments. Consult your healthcare professional.

  • Check for published medical and research papers to verify the accuracy of the claims made by the promoters.

  • Ask yourself if there is really a miracle cure available, wouldn’t my healthcare professional have told me about it?

 

Weight Loss Scams

by Rudolf Faix Friday, July 10, 2015 11:09 AM

bathroom scales crying for helpThis type of scam may involve an unusual or restrictive diet, revolutionary exercise or "fat-busting" devices, or breakthrough products such as pills, patches or creams.

Who did not read about the magical weight loss products? They get offered with the famous words like:

  • Lose 10 kilos in 10 days
  • Eat your favorite foods and lose weight
  • Shrinks your stomach, waist and hips
  • Scientists announced icredible discovery
  • Revolutionary Method
  • Turn on your body's fat-burning process
  • Absorbs fat
  • New scientific/medical breakthrough
  • Testimonials from famous doctors and "happy" customers with dramatic before and after pictures

You can be sure that there are no magic pills, miracle cures or some safe options for serious medical conditions for rapid weight loss. The only weight you lose is the weight of the money you spent from your purse. There is no other way to lose weight than to eat less and to move more. Some of the offered methods are even very dangerous for your health.

The products are promoted with the use of false claims such as "lose 10 kilos in 10 days" or "lose weight while you sleep", and often require large advance payments or that you enter into a long-term contract to participate in the program.

The top diet scams are:

  • Metabolism-boosting pills based on herbal ingredients
    At the highest priority on the rundown of eating regimen tricks are pills taking into account natural fixings that guarantee to support your digestion system and help you blaze calories or fat speedier.

    New herbs dependably appear to permeate to the top as potential eating routine guides, as one leaves another shows up in light of the fact that the FDA doesn't screen herbs. The vast majority of time they are simply incapable; on occasion they are perilous.

    Two late illustrations of home grown eating regimen pills that got the consideration of the FDA as risky are ephedra and kava (Piper methysticum, otherwise called kava kava).

    Up to this point, ephedra was found in numerous home grown dietary supplements for weight reduction, however in February 2004, the FDA banned the offer of ephedra in any dietary supplement in the U.S. because of the danger of disease or damage. The herb is a nearby compound cousin of methamphetamine or speed and can bring about hypertension, sporadic pulse, a sleeping disorder, apprehension, tremors, seizures, heart assaults, strokes, and even passing.

    Kava is a plant found in the islands of the South Pacific. Supplements containing the natural fixing are frequently advanced for unwinding and weight reduction. In any case, the FDA issued a notice in 2002 that utilization of supplements containing kava has been connected to serious liver damage.

  • Fat- and carb-blocking pills
    Pills that claim to obstruct your body's ingestion of fat and all the more as of late sugars are likewise usually sold eating regimen tricks. 

    Regardless of the possibility that these fat and carb blockers filled in as its been said they do, scientists say the impacts can be risky if not outright unsavory. 

    It's similar to making somebody lactose narrow minded. By making the body not able to breakdown supplements in the body, which prompts gastrointestinal issues like loose bowels, bloating, and gas, these pills additionally hinder the retention of the vitamins that go with these supplements.

    Why might somebody deliberately submit themselves to that? Some fat blockers may have something in them that can meddle with how individuals assimilate fat, yet they've never been indicated to help with considerable weight reduction.

  • Herbal weight loss teas
    Teas in view of home grown fixings are likewise touted as eating routine guides, however specialists say the primary fixing in large portions of these teas is caffeine, which is a diuretic and prompts water misfortune.

    Losing water isn't getting more fit. Caffeine can likewise build metabolic rate by a little sum however insufficient that you would have the capacity to say that it added to weight reduction.

    It is the program which is coming along with the teas which results into a weight loss. You have to drink the tea after dinner and you are not allowed to eat anything else until the morning. That way it could curb late-night eating, but it's not necessarily a result of drinking the tea itself.

  • Diet patches, jewelry, or other products worn on the body
    Patches that convey sedates however the skin have get to be famous for helping smokers quit and conveying estrogen to calm menopausal side effects. 

    Be that as it may, specialists say no viable weight reduction medications have been intended to be conveyed through the skin by means of patches. More often than not, these patches contain the same inadequate herbs found in dietary supplements or teas.

    Additionally included in this eating regimen trick class is adornments, for example, studs or wrist trinkets, intended to be worn on the body with the guarantee to help individuals shed pounds. Any case that individuals can lose even a pound or more a week utilizing these gadgets is false.

  • Body wraps or "slim suits"
    On the off chance that there were an "oldie yet goodie" eating regimen trick prize champ, specialists say it would likely go to body wraps. 

    The thick, layered sweat suits once prominent decades back have transformed into silver "thin suits" and fat-softening body wraps intended to secure body warmth and dissolve away the pounds.

    Be that as it may, specialists say the main sort of weight reduction brought on by wearing these outfits is water misfortune created by over the top sweating. As soon as you drink, you'll put on all that water weight back.

 

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AboutMe

I'm since more then 35 years in the computer business (programming and technical support) and using the Internet since it has started. Since 2002 I'm programming solutions for Asterisk and since 2004 I'm in the call center industry.

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