Tip-offs to rip-offs
EVER SINCE THE first business transaction, people on one side of a deal have received a little more
than they gave. This, I am afraid, is the nature of
business. These days, with so much business being
done internationally on the Internet, it is very
important that you go through the due diligence
process and make sure you get what you pay for,
especially when you cannot see the person, or company, you are doing business with.
With the advent of the Internet, a consumer can
be fleeced simply by entering 16 digits on a computer form. For those who like to spend, people
seeking a good deal or collectors looking for a spe-cial-interest item, the Internet is a consumer’s paradise. However, it is essential to confirm that any sites
you use for a monetary transaction are legitimate
and reliable. Lately I have heard from consumers
who have been ripped off in fake auctions on websites that vanished once money was sent, or who
bought cars that broke down upon retrieval, or who
bought musical instruments from stores whose
addresses turned out to be empty apartments.
Other shocking and unethical scams are in the
field of charity work, using websites that take donations. It is sad that people are being manipulated
emotionally into giving money to a charity that
probably doesn’t exist.
Consumers who order vitamins and medications online should also be wary of fraud. These
products are often fake or make false claims, so
check with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration
www.fda.gov) before ordering anything, especially
from foreign pharmacies. Parents should also be
aware that teenagers can not only order strong medications, but other consumer products with the click
of a mouse, and they might be especially prone to
scams. The best way to keep your child safe from
these scams is by keeping them well-informed and
being as open with them a possible.
WE PURCHASED a king-size
mattress set from a furniture
store for $3,759.97. After trying out the mattress, I complained to the store about the
depressions and lumps that
were causing my husband
and me discomfort. They sent
a mattress inspector twice to
assess the condition of the
mattress; [the inspector]
noted two depressions and a
defective box spring.
The store does not have a
solid latex foam mattress–box
spring set to exchange for our
present defective one. We
would be content with a
refund of $3,905.22 to enable
us to purchase a satisfactory
mattress. Please help!
Laguna Hills, California
Fortunately, tools are available to protect you
from falling for these schemes, and the Internet has
several services that can help guarantee the safety of
When shopping, if you are asked to pay with a
credit card via PayPal, look for the golden seal—
which is typically located on the main payment
page—that verifies the site is actually affiliated
with PayPal. Other reliable programs include
Verisign, which requires the user to enter hard-to-
spell words to prove their identity, and Truste.
Classic organizations such as Kelley Blue Book
and AAA have wonderful websites that are full of
I called the CEO of this
pany. It was refresh-
ing, surprising and
entirely effective that
the owner, founder
and CEO himself
answered my call
and wanted to
know every detail
tomer, and committed
to make it right.
The result was fair
and ethical. A refund
was not issued—instead,
the owner and his team
not only gave this con-
sumer an instant ex-
change, they upgraded
by giving the couple a far
more expensive mattress
that was to their liking.
© 2010 FIGHT BACK! INC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
David Horowitz is a leading consumer advocate (
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