Consumer Scams Article


Older Consumers Targeted By Fraudsters Not Once, But Twice!

After reviewing complaints submitted by consumers, we have discovered a financial scam targeting older consumers who had previously been victims of fraudulent money-making schemes, such as bogus timeshare investments and in-home business opportunities. So-called asset recovery companies are contacting these past victims, promising to get refunds for a substantial fee, failing to deliver promised services, and leaving consumers financially worse off than before. What does this scam look like? The asset recovery company contacts the defrauded older consumer claiming that they can get their money back for an upfront fee of several hundred to thousands of dollars. The company often claims it has unique expertise to help victims of fraud recover their funds. Once the older consumer pays the upfront fee, the company fails to perform any service that the consumer could not have done themselves. For example, if the consumer used a credit card to pay the original scammer, the asset recovery company usually will do nothing beyond disputing the charge with the credit card company, which the consumer can do themselves, for free. They often submit a complaint to an agency that does not charge anything to process a complaint – like us, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). Moreover, they often do not even adequately follow through with the worthless services they offer; filing claims that are too old to be legally valid or without proper documentation to support the consumer’s claims. Don’t Be Scammed Twice! Ways to Protect Yourself. Here are some warning signs that can help you avoid becoming a victim of an asset recovery scam: •Upfront fees to recover money — Don’t pay for any part of a service that has not been performed. You have the right to refuse service and verify the legitimacy of any organization. •Claims of insider information and connections –— Submitting complaints to federal agencies, such as the CFPB or the Federal Trade Commission, or state attorneys general offices are free to the public and easy to use. Private companies do not have special access to these free consumer complaint resources. •Requests for secrecy — Never allow anyone to discourage you from seeking information, support, and advice from family members, friends, or trusted advisors before making a financial transaction. How do I get help? Alert your bank or credit card company immediately if you believe you have been a victim of fraud. Be sure to ask the bank to prohibit future withdrawals, debits or credit card payments made by or to the scammer. If your bank account information, debit card or credit card number was used without your permission, ask the bank to restore the funds taken from your account. If asset recovery services you paid for with your credit card aren’t provided as promised, you might be able to dispute the charges. If scammed, report it promptly to your local law enforcement office, and submit a complaint to the Federal Trade Commission at ftccomplaintassistant.gov. If you have an issue with a financial product or service, you can submit a complaint to us at consumerfinance.gov/complaint.

Comments:

QUESTIONS

  • I think I am being scammed. I received a letter from a previous business firm with a demand to pay. There is no account number, no return address and no signature on the abnormal letter head. How can I tell?
  • 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.?
  • 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?
  • 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?
  • 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?
  • How can I avoid being solicited by telemarketers and marketing mail?
  • I COSIGNED FOR AN AUTO LOAN FOR MY SON, AND LEARNED THAT THE DOCUMENTS WERE FALSIFIED HOW CAN I GET HELP WITH THIS?
  • After filing a "notice of claim" at the state attorney general's office, how much time does the state's attorney have to respond ?
  • 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.
  • What can I do or whom shall I speak to about a fraudulent company for a mortgage loan modification. GREEN TREE FINANCIAL GROUP. We paid them 2,800 dollars and they acted very legitiment until I tried to get in touch with them a week ago. I found out through the California and Arizona policy that they are indeed frauds. Can you please help us. My home is now in foreclosure.

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  • State Bar of Arizona
    www.azbar.org
  • Maricopa County Bar
    www.maricopabar.org
    Referral number 602-257-4434
  • Pima County Bar
    www.pimacountybar.org
    Referral number 520-623-4625
  • National Domestic Violence Hotline
    800-799-7233
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    866-553-0893
  • Certified Legal Document Preparer Program
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