TIPS & TRICKS
SCAM ARTISTS HAVE claimed millions of victims with various schemes over
the Internet, on the telephone and through the mail. Here’s a list of handy resources to get information on various scams, along with tips on avoiding them.
Better Business Bureaus alerts
The Council of Better Business Bureaus posts warnings to notify consumers and businesses about recently discovered fraudulent business scams, and
also helps resolve buyer/seller complaints against a business, including mediation and arbitration services. Contact: www.bbb.org.
Bureau of Public Debt
Is it really a security and is it really backed by the U.S. governme nt? Many
schemes have been directed at banks, charities, companies and individuals
by others seeking payment on fraudulent securities. The Bureau of Public
Debt alerts people to these scams and helps protect them from being taken in.
Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services
Fraud and abuse in the Medicaid and Medicare programs cost taxpayers billions of dollars each year and can pose a threat to patient health and safety.
Learn about some of the most common ripoffs and schemes and how you can
protect yourself. Contact: www.cms.hhs.gov/FraudAbuseforConsumers.
Coalition Against Insurance Fraud
The Coalition Against Insurance Fraud is a national organization dedicated
exclusively to fighting insurance fraud through public advocacy and public
education. Contact: www.insurancefraud.org.
See how law enforcement agencies all over the world work together to fight
fraud, using Consumer Sentinel, an innovative international law enforcement
fraud-fighting program. Contact: www.consumer.gov/sentinel.
Since 1972, Fight Back! has provided information
and raised awareness to help consumers help themselves in the marketplace. Some services require a fee. Contact: www.fightback.com. The best National Consumer League’s defense (NCL) Fraud Center against fraud The NCL’s Web site offers tips and instruc- is being ?
tion on avoiding a variety of scams on the an informed
Internet, over the phone and elsewhere. If you think you’ve been a victim of fraud, you consumer
can file a complaint through an online complaint
form. Contact: www.fraud.org.—Tim Talevich
THE ADVANTAGES OF
THERE ARE SEVERAL good reasons for using
a mechanical pencil:
• They use refill leads so you don’t have
to throw them away. This is better for
• They never need sharpening, which means
they’re always ready to go.
• If the lead breaks, you can quickly click to
advance another lead and keep on writing.
• They come in various lead diameter sizes to
accommodate all types of writing styles.
• Most have a soft grip that helps reduce
• They contain refill lead equivalent to
a No. 2 lead pencil, which makes them
perfect for taking scantron tests.
• They come in a variety of styles, meaning
that you’re certain to find one that’s right
for you. A