We should always be secure with the information we have when purchasing a product or using a service. However, a seller or business’s provided information may not tell the whole story. Some might even have a malicious scheme to entrap you with! Therefore, experts warn you to research the companies, businesses, and products you plan to purchase to get a better view. In addition, we must always read the warranties and safety instructions before using a product or availing of a service. Tips like these, and the ones you will read below, seem like common sense, but it’s up to consumers to not take them for granted.
- Go through your local area’s consumer database and check the “Consumer Beware” list for sketchy businesses, companies, and entities.
- Contact your local area’s consumer affairs department and the Better Business Bureau if you’re concerned about a business’s policies or practices.
- Don’t always believe what you receive. Fraudsters and scammers can call, text, and email you with too-good-to-true job offers, product offers, and “Congratulations! You won…” messages. They can even fake their caller IDs to make you believe they’re legitimate entities.
- Don’t pay upfront for “promises.” If you’re required to pay right away for credit and loan offers, debt relief, and tax payments for a prize you supposedly won, then you’re being fooled.texarkana cheers and jeers
- If you have any issues with goods, products, or services, communicate with the business or company first. If a sales representative can’t help you, talk to the supervisor or manager.
- Go higher up the food chain and try contacting the business owner or senior-level executive if talking with lower-level management was unsatisfactory.
- If in-person communication or a phone conversation isn’t possible, write or email a formal letter.
- Specify your issue and include all those details concerning what you’ve done to try and resolve it. Receipts and other documents you keep will be essential here.
- It might be necessary to seek some outside help. For example, you can talk to an ombudsperson, consumer advocacy group, or government regulatory department, depending on the industry.
- If you were found to have been the victim of consumer fraud, contact the police and any official anti-fraud organizations. You could also be part of a consumer class action.
- Please review terms and policies before picking up the phone or sending an email to ensure you have a legitimate consumer complaint.
Consumer fraud is often related to false promises or inaccurate claims made to consumers, as well as practices that directly cheat consumers out of their money. Who said being a modern-day consumer was easy? We all have to be on the alert for malicious schemes when we aren’t pelted with news about product recalls, defective goods, and questionable financial policies. Unfortunately, there have been a lot of consumers blaming companies and governments for negligence and lack of safeguarding policies in the past few years. Therefore, we can’t always rely on others to keep us informed and safe — or to ensure we steer clear of fraudulent scams. We have to be our own consumer heroes, not only for ourselves but also for others.