The rest of the Consumer Complaints
6. Impostor scams. Making its first-ever appearance on the top 10 with more than 60,000 complaints, this rip-off involves people posing as authorities, your bank, or friends and family. You might get an urgent phone call or email from a name you recognize, but it’s actually from a crook.
7. Internet auctions. This one, with over 56,000 complaints last year, is about not getting what you ordered, or feeling misled about a product’s features or condition. The first thing to do – after contacting the seller and making sure it’s not an honest mistake – is to check what the auction site’s policies are.
8. Foreign money/counterfeit check scams. This one was creative enough to net almost 44,000 complaints last year: The scammer buys something from you, perhaps in an online auction. But rather than sending you the amount they owe, you receive a cashiers check for more than that amount. They then ask you to deposit the cashiers check and send you the difference. The problem? Their check was counterfeit: something that might take weeks for your bank to discover. The solution? Don’t take checks at all in online sale situations.
9. Telephone/mobile services. This category, with over 37,000 complaints last year, includes being charged for “toll-free” calls, charges for calls you didn’t make, and misleading pre-paid phone cards. Calling an 800 or 888 number is usually toll-free – it’s the 900 prefix that costs you. The FTC has information on selecting reputable calling cards and rules about 900 numbers.
10. Credit cards. Even though credit cards offer consumer protections, there’s still plenty to complain about – well, at least 33,000 people last year thought so. These complaints include billing issues, interest rate changes, late fees, credit disputes, and overcharges – plus, of course, fake credit offers.
~ This is an edited version of the last 5 points.
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