Consumer Scams Article


Identity Theft

What is identity theft?

Identity theft is the unauthorized use of someone’s personal data (a driver’s license or Social Security number, for example) It is a fast-growing crime that strikes millions of Americans each year at an estimated cost of more than $51 billion to businesses, financial institutions and consumers.

Identity thieves may rummage through your trash, steal your wallet or skim encoded data from your credit card. Or they might go phishing (this refers to the use of misleading e-mails and fraudulent Web sites to trick Internet users into revealing personal data). Or they might plant spyware - software that collects personal information as it is keyed into your computer.

To keep tabs on your credit, request a free credit report annually from each of the three major credit bureaus. To order your free annual reports, call (877) 322-8228 or visit the Annual Credit Report Program on-line. If you fall victim to an identity thief, take action immediately.

Protect Your Identity

If you are a victim of identity theft:

  1. Contact the credit bureaus listed below, put a fraud alert on your credit report and request a free credit report
  2. File a police report
  3. File a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and obtain an FTC ID Theft Affidavit.
  4. Fill out the ID Theft Affidavit and send it by certified mail (with a copy of the police report) to all businesses where a new account was opened.

 Credit Bureaus

Equifax on-line or call (800) 685-1111
Experian on-line or call (888) 397-3742
Transunion on-line or call (877) 322-8228


Comments:

QUESTIONS

  • This scam is of a different nature. A seemingly nice looking man contacted me on Myspace with all the sweet words, found I was living on SSI and offered me a job. The job was what caught my attention, and this job is posted elsewhere, to buy certain "materials list" of a particular printer, ink, software to print so called payroll checks. He also offered me a chance to buy stock into Midwesttextiles.com. I have all his info where he wanted me to send the money by Money Gram. He also wanted my acct number to pay me for my work. They would send the "materials list" to me if I would like to invest. Since this is of a different nature, do I report it to AZ Attorney General or US?
  • I signed up for online Lpn to Rn program online for 13,000 dollars with Achieve Test Prep and took one class that cost 300 dollars. After 1 month Achieve Test Prep said there program no longer supports AZ so i asked for my money back since i didn't cancel the contract. They said they can only send back 10,000 and charged me 3,000 in administrative fees. This is fraud how can i sue and get this in front of a jury and what are my options?
  • How many days can a contract be cancelled?
  • I RECENTLY WAS HAVING A SECURITY SYSTEM INSTALLED WHICH NEVER WAS FINISHED. AFTER NEARLY 3 WEEKS AND SEVERAL ATTEMPTS I MADE EITHER BY PHONE OR INTERNET TO INQUIRE ABOUT THE SITUATION NO ONE CAME TO FINISH INSTALLING THE SYSTEM. I BECAME FRUSTRATED AND DECIDED TO CANCEL MY INVOLVEMENT WITH THIS COMPANY. I WAS TOLD BY A REPRESENTATIVE I WOULD BE REFUNDED. I HAVE YET TO RECEIVE SAID REFUND. WHAT ARE MY RECOURSES TO RECOOP MY MONEY?
  • How can I avoid being solicited by telemarketers and marketing mail?
  • I am a victim of a ponzi scheme, lost all my money, am being sued by a friend, as if I was responsible, for fraud in Phoenix. Have spent countless hours trying to find an attorney to answer the complaint before it goes to a default judgement. Need desperately to talk to counsel.
  • My wife and I are retired seniors. She brought home a flyer from the mailbox advertising a Handyman. Our evaporative cooler stopped working. This man came over and said he could fix it for $210.59. The next day he came back and after looking around for a while he said they don't make these kind of control boxes anymore. He came over that night with a friend of his, John, and they both decided they would have to look for the parts. The next day they both came back with a computer. Jim sat at the computer and started rattling off numbers to John who was using a calculator. After much running in and out to the cooler it was decided that the job would cost $1055.29. My wife and I looked at each other and decided we couldn't live without a cooler in Arizona. I asked Jim how much of a down payment he would need and he said all except $100.00 to buy the parts. I wrote out the check to Jim's Handyman Service. The next morning he called and said three of them had to go to Phoenix to get the parts but he would have to stop by my house first because they would not take a check made out to his business. I thought it strange that someone would run a business using personal checks but wrote out one to Jim Petty which my wife brought out to the gate and exchanged it for the business check. Therefore I never received a receipt for the $745.29 check. That afternoon they called me on the way back from Phoenix and told me that they would be at my house at 8:30 that night to install the parts. I reluctantly agreed and thought it very strange that they wanted to install the parts in the dark. At 9:45 pm the phone rang and they were at our front gate. I told them we were going to bed to come back in the morning. At 7:30 the next morning they were installing the parts into the cooler which included a new thermostat that was previously mentioned to cost between $300 and $400 alone. They finished the job by 9:30, I paid Jim the last $100 and they left. We had no instructions for the thermostat and only two scribbled over work orders mentioning $210.00,$118.00 and 109.00 in various spots on the work orders. We never received a contract, warranty, nothing! After the cooler started to cool the house down we found out it would not shut off or on automatically once it reached the ambient temperature. I called Lowe's and a man tried to help us because they sold that kind of thermostat but eventually said he couldn't help us because he would have to see how the control box was wired and that it was probably wired wrong. I called Jim and asked for an itemized invoice. He agreed but I never heard from him again. He also has not responded to my e mail messages. On one of the scribbled work orders was written a 10 year warranty on parts and labor and 5 years on the computer (if you can read it.) I only signed one of the work orders. This person has "Jesus is Lord" printed under his name on his business card. If you ask me that's all part of the scam. He and his friend John have no intention, that I can, see of ever contacting me. If I could, I would attach a picture of the 'kit' he installed. It all comes in one box and all the 'so called' parts including the thermostat cost $149.99!
  • I ordered a Printer from U-Bid for 75.00 and I used my Pay Pal account to pay for the purchase. When the ordered merchandise arrived, I received 3 printers instead of the one I ordered. Later I was billed for the two not ordered printers original printer was paid through pay pal. The second 2 Printers were billed, without my permission, on my Visa account at Wells Fargo. What is my legal responsabilty for the two extra printers. mailed and charged to me without my authorization.?
  • After filing a "notice of claim" at the state attorney general's office, how much time does the state's attorney have to respond ?
  • My mother recently passed away while on hospice care. I did not have pre-arrangements made. Hospice offered to arrange services with the least expensive local funeral home. Since this is hospice' area of expertise, I agreed. This funeral home charged nearly twice what the other two businesses in the area charge. This company also was not the coroner designated on call mortuary for this particular month? I feel this is a scam, what can I do?

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  • State Bar of Arizona
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  • Maricopa County Bar
    www.maricopabar.org
    Referral number 602-257-4434
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    www.pimacountybar.org
    Referral number 520-623-4625
  • National Domestic Violence Hotline
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