As consumers in the age of the Internet, so much information, buying power and convenience has become available to us right from our living rooms. As such, many of us have become victims to so many different scams stemming from our use of the Internet. See some examples here and here
From investments, to timeshares, work-at-home schemes, real estate, banking transactions, the list goes on as to how many potential traps consumers may fall into by using the Internet to any degree.
We rely on a range of services in our day-to-day living and shopping, like retail purchasing to home repair and improvement to other services. Though not always available on an Internet transaction, make sure to try to use a written contract for all services that clearly defines restrictions and obligations of both the consumer and service-provider.
In the age of E-commerce and the massive amount of purchasing that consumers due on the internet, fraud is ever-present. Oftentimes a consumer will do business with a company that is either out of state or so far away from the consumer to make consumer complaints unreachable. We have handled cases, particularly from out of state consumers; against instate fraudsters claiming the receipt of defective merchandise or lack of any merchandise whatsoever and the need for either litigation or a claim for money back.
Consumers must be aware of numerous other scams:
With so many choices to buy things online, it is very difficult to know the difference between a legitimate site and a phony one to steal a consumer’s money or identity.
Scammers set up generic online stores that sell items or copy the websites of big name brand companies. On these sites, scammers sell fake or counterfeit products at significantly reduced prices designed to attract buyers looking for discounts on big name brands they trust.
Collection Agency Scams
Fraudsters understand that collection agencies can contact a debtor who owes money to a creditor. Criminals involved with collection agency scams use this knowledge to their advantage to steal money.
Representing a phony collection agency or even a supposed government entity, scammers make calls to victims and threaten litigation or humiliating at-job arguments to coerce a person to make payments.
Dating and Relationship Scams
We unfortunately have cases where someone starts an intimate relationship with someone online, learns to trust them, and then loans or invests money with them. The victim learns later that the intent of scammer was never a relationship, but an effort to gain the trust of the victim and then separate her from her money.
Work from Home
The allure of making money from home is obviously very attractive to many consumers.
One popular scheme involves at-home merchandise inspection and shipping. Scammers set up professional looking websites and claim that the sites are owned by shipping and logistics intermediaries. Some also set up sites to state that they can offer these work-at-home opportunities because they represent large merchant companies in the United States that do not have international shipping services.
Scammers use job search website ads to attract victims or target victims using job board profiles.