"Scams Keep Popping Up"
By Capt. Fred Davis
Published: Monday, October 14, 2013

Scams are everywhere! It’s hard to turn around without coming face to face with a scam. TV infomercials are full of them, and the larger the company, the bigger the scam.

I just received a message from an auto company letting me know that if I wish to continue my lifetime warranty on my 2008 vehicle, I have to bring it in for a “no charge” checkup.

The message brought to mind my encounter during my 30,000-mile checkup. I was told I needed

$3,500 in repairs. When I balked at such a large sum, the price dropped to $2,300. I refused to give permission for the work to be done. My problem was I had signed an authorization form to examine the car. They proceeded to take the car apart, thus I would be billed for that labor anyway. I paid $1,400 and got my car back.

When I later pursued the matter, it was discovered a part they declared needed replacement, if defective, would have disabled the car so it would not run. I got a refund for that charge and the labor involved “replacing” it. Was that a scam?

I got a phone call from a company selling insurance. They asked for me by name and made me an offer. I inquired why my “Do not call” agreement in place did not prevent the call. I was told it did not refer to their company because they were offering health care. Was that a scam?

While checking my email I found a message from someone saying they had a special offer of investment and I would get many times over the amount I spent for years to come. To accept, I had to go directly to a special highlighted email address, then return a call before I sent any other emails.

Was that a scam?

Another online message announced I could purchase an item that all electric companies hate because it would cut my costs for electricity by 40 percent. All I had to do was provide my email address. Was that a scam?

I got an offer in the mail telling me I was a winner! To find out what was won I had to call a specific number within three days of receipt of the mailing. I wondered what would have happened if I waited four days? Was that a scam?

While watching TV, a scheduled program was pending but while waiting for it to begin I could enjoy an infomercial. It described an item I had heard about and actually wanted to try. I took down the 800 number noted to call for more information. When I dialed it, the number was busy but a message came on the line saying: “Just for waiting, we want to offer you a free cruise.” I know free is never free but I agreed to listen because I really wanted to reach the people I was calling.

To get my “free” cruise I had to agree to enjoy a weekend at a hotel on the beach in Fort Lauderdale. The price would be only half the normal cost, of course. I could also fly to Florida, first class, with my spouse at half the cost. While on my “free” cruise I would be able to stay at an island resort, advertised on TV as top-rated, for a deeply discounted price — four days at the price of two.

I was told I must accept the “free” offer during the month of November (which co-incidentally is the cruise industry’s slowest month). Wow, quite the offer and I think it only totaled about $5,000. I explained I would be in Florida, on an island in November so would not need all the extras. I asked to just forward information to accept the “free” cruise.

After that statement the line inexplicably went dead. I never did get to find out about the item I called on.

Do you suppose that may have been a scam?

As I see it, all of the above events took place over a matter of days — and no, I don’t think I have too much time on my hands. It’s my guess every one of you get many of the same pitches on a daily basis.




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