PROTECT YOURSELF FROM CON-ARTISTS
The con artist's philosophy is "the gullible were put on this earth to be gulled." In the past, con artists were usually referred to as con men. This is no longer the case as more and more women have become involved in con games and numerous variations of con games. Before we proceed with some tips on "how not to get conned" you should always remember that a con artist could be a male or a female. In addition, many times the con artist will work with a child who will assist them in accomplishing their goal. That goal is to GET YOUR MONEY.
Here are some good rules to follow all the time - whether or not you suspect a fraud:
- Don't believe in something-for-nothing offers. You get what you pay for.
- Be suspicious of high-pressure sales efforts.
- Take your time; think about it before you part with your money.
- Get all agreements in writing. Insist that agreements be in plain English and not legal jargon.
- Read all contracts and agreements before signing. Have a lawyer examine all major contracts.
- Beware of anyone who comes to your door asking for money for charity or for personal reasons.
HOME IMPROVEMENT FRAUD
Home repairs and improvements can be costly. Watch out if:
- Somebody offers to do an expensive job for an unusually low price.
- If a firm offers to make a "free" inspection or if the person just happened to be in the neighborhood.
- The most popular home improvement frauds are roof repair and painting, driveway sealing, and termite inspection.
To avoid home improvement and repair:
- Always get several estimates for every repair job, and compare prices and terms. Check to see if there is a charge for estimates.
- Ask your friends for recommendations. Alternatively, ask the firm for references - and CHECK THEM!
- Check the identification of all "inspectors."
- Call the loan Consumer Affairs office or the Better Business Bureau to check the company's reputation before you authorize any work.
- Be suspicious of high-pressure sales tactics.
- Pay by check - never with cash. Arrange to make the payments in installments.
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