Don't Pay for a Promise!: A Survivor's Guide to Swindles and Deceptive Practices [NOOK Book]


Growing out of a project to help the author deal with his own credulity, "Don’t Pay for a Promise" is a treasure house of information distilled from hundreds of Government publications. These publications are constantly being revised and updated and the reader should consult them regularly for the latest facts. However, because each publication must stand on its own, there is a "patchwork" character to the material and finding answers for a particular situation can take time. By capturing the essence of these ...

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Don't Pay for a Promise!: A Survivor's Guide to Swindles and Deceptive Practices

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Growing out of a project to help the author deal with his own credulity, "Don’t Pay for a Promise" is a treasure house of information distilled from hundreds of Government publications. These publications are constantly being revised and updated and the reader should consult them regularly for the latest facts. However, because each publication must stand on its own, there is a "patchwork" character to the material and finding answers for a particular situation can take time. By capturing the essence of these publications, John McHardy has created a powerful resource for anyone who has ever agonized over an offer that seems too good to be true.  In 14 compact chapters, the book deals systematically with the diverse types and guises of consumer fraud, offering concrete advice on how to recognize and respond to each of them. The first chapter provides information common to all types of fraud and serves as a foundation for the rest of the book. The next eleven chapters then cover individual aspects of the subject. For example, Chapter 2 "Identity Theft" examines topics that range from simple theft to the less obvious hazards of automatic debit and electronic banking.   A typical chapter begins with an outline of pertinent laws and regulations and continues with one or more sections on particular issues. For example, Chapter 3, arranges the broad subject of "Contests" into three separate sections. Within each section, the material is organized under a consistent set of paragraph headings. These include the "promise" (the scam or deceptive practice), warning signs that may distinguish it from a legitimate offer, and ways that consumers can protect themselves — or at least minimize their losses.  The book concludes with two chapters of reference material, Chapter 13 detailing the many organizations that can offer help in the fight against fraud and Chapter 14 containing the full text of FTC Telemarketing Sales Rule.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781462818006
  • Publisher: Xlibris Corporation
  • Publication date: 11/2/2000
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • File size: 410 KB

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 The Fraud Epidemic
The Swindler 17
The Victim 18
The Contact 19
Telephone 19
Computer Networks 19
Mail 20
Advertisements 20
TV Infomercials 21
Referrals 21
The "Respectable" Business 22
The Pitch 22
Large Profits 22
Low Risk 23
Urgency 23
Confidence 23
About This Book 24
Purpose 24
Organization 24
Chapter 2 Identity Theft
The Law 27
The Fair Credit Billing Act (FCBA) and the Electronic Fund Transfer Act (EFTA) 27
FTC Telemarketing Sales Rules 28
Card Theft 29
Limiting Your Financial Loss 29
Protecting Yourself 30
Mail Theft 30
Protecting Yourself 31
Automatic Debit 32
Protecting Yourself 32
Electronic Banking 33
Electronic Fund Transfers 34
Your Rights and Responsibilities 35
Errors 37
Lost or Stolen EFT Cards 38
Limited Stop-Payment Privileges 39
Other Rights 39
Protecting Yourself 40
Chapter 3 Contests
The Law 41
Prize Offers 41
The Promise 42
Protecting Yourself 42
Scholarships 43
The Promise 43
Warning Signs 44
Protecting Yourself 45
Green Card Offers 45
The Promise 46
Protecting Yourself 46
Chapter 4 Employment
Federal Jobs 48
The Promise 48
Warning Signs 49
Job Assistance 49
The Promise 50
Types of Employment Service Firms 50
Protecting Yourself 53
Modeling Offers 54
The Promise 54
Warning Signs 55
Protecting Yourself 57
Work at Home 58
The Promise 59
Protecting Yourself 60
Coupons 61
The Promise 61
Warning Signs 63
Protecting Yourself 63
Chapter 5 Business Opportunities
The Law 65
FTC Franchise Rule 65
Internet-Based Business Opportunities 66
The Promise 67
Protecting Yourself 68
Display Racks And Vending Machines 69
The Promise 70
The Reality 71
Protecting Yourself 72
Pyramid Schemes 73
Pyramids vs. Multi-Level Marketing Plans 74
Protecting Yourself 74
Inventions 75
Warning Signs 76
Recognizing Legitimate Firms 77
Protecting Yourself 79
Further Information 80
Chapter 6 Credit
The Law 82
The Fair Credit Reporting Act 82
The Fair Credit Billing Act (FCBA) 84
The Credit Repair Organizations Act 85
Credit Cards 86
Protecting Yourself 86
Protecting Your Cards 87
Buying a Registration Service 88
Secured Credit Cards 89
Secured vs. Unsecured Cards 89
The Promise 90
Warning Signs 90
Protecting Yourself 91
Advance-Fee Loans 91
The Promise 91
Protecting Yourself 92
Low-Cost Help for Credit Problems 93
Credit Repair 94
The Promise 94
Warning Signs 94
File Segregation 95
Protecting Yourself 97
Debt Relief 98
Warning Signs 98
Protecting Yourself 99
Personal Bankruptcy 99
Loan Transfers 100
Chapter 7 Merchandise
The Law 101
The FTC Credit Practices Rule 101
The FTC Cooling-Off Rule 104
Unordered Merchandise 108
Frequently Asked Questions 108
Protecting Yourself 109
Warranties and Service Contracts 111
Written Warranties 111
Spoken Warranties 112
Implied Warranties 112
Service Contracts 113
Protecting Yourself 115
Resolving Warranty Disputes 116
Home Water Treatment Units 117
How do I know if I need a unit? 117
What kind of units are available? 118
What else should I consider? 120
Warning Signs 121
Protecting Yourself 122
Kitchen Gadgets 123
The Promise 123
The Risk 123
Native American Jewelry 125
Authentication 125
Terminology 126
How to Buy 128
Further Information 128
Magazines 129
Warning Signs 129
Protecting Yourself 130
How To Cancel 132
Office Supplies 133
The Credible-Invoice Scam 134
The Order-by-Trick Scam 135
The Wedge Scam 136
After the Merchandise and the Invoice Arrive 137
Protecting Your Organization 138
Yellow Pages Invoices 140
Warning Signs 141
Protecting Yourself 141
Chapter 8 Automobile Repairs
Be Prepared 143
How to Choose a Repair Shop 143
Recognizing Symptoms 147
Trouble Shooting 150
Automatic Transmission Repair 151
Recognizing Symptoms 152
Choosing a Repair Facility 152
Protecting Yourself 154
"Gas-Saving" Products 155
The Promise 155
The Reality 156
Protecting Yourself 159
Chapter 9 Health and Recreation
Fraudulent Health Claims 160
The Promise 160
Warning Signs 162
Protecting Yourself 163
Dietary Supplements 164
Weight Loss Programs 165
The Promise 166
Protecting Yourself 167
Health Spas 168
Protecting Yourself 169
Travel Offers 170
The Promise 170
Warning Signs 171
Protecting Yourself 172
Further Information 173
Vacation Time Sharing 174
Timeshare Resale Programs 177
The Promise 177
Protecting Yourself 178
Dance Lessons 179
Sales Techniques 179
Protecting Yourself 180
Chapter 10 Telemarketing
The Law 182
The FTC Telemarketing Sales Rule 183
Exceptions to the Rule 184
Typical Scams 185
The Promise 185
Warning Signs 186
Protecting Yourself 187
Reloading 188
The Promise 188
Sucker Lists 189
The Double Scam 189
Recovery 190
The Promise 190
Protecting Yourself 191
Chapter 11 Communications
The Law 192
The FTC 900 Number Rule 192
Mail or Telephone Order Rule 196
900 Numbers 197
Protecting Yourself 197
Cross Border Scams 198
The Promise 199
Protecting Yourself 200
Mail Fraud 202
The Promise 202
Protecting Yourself 204
Online Fraud 205
The Promise 205
Warning Signs 207
Protecting Yourself 207
Chapter 12 Investment and Charity
Features of Investment Fraud 211
The Promise 211
Warning Signs 213
Protecting Yourself 215
Online Investments 217
The Promise 217
Warning Signs 217
Rare Coins 218
The Promise 219
Protecting Yourself 221
Art Fraud 222
The Promise 223
Protecting Yourself 223
Precious Metals 225
The Promise 226
Protecting Yourself 227
Telecommunications 228
FCC License Auctions 228
License Application Services 229
Partnerships 230
Warning Signs 231
Protecting Yourself 232
Charity 233
Public Safety Fund-Raising Appeals 234
Protecting Yourself 235
Chapter 13 Resources
The FTC Bureau of Consumer Protection 239
Division of Advertising Practices 239
Division of Credit Practices 240
Division of Enforcement 241
Division of Marketing Practices 242
Division of Service Industry Practices 243
Contacting the FTC 243
The National Fraud Information Center (NFIC) 244
Charter 244
Contacting the NFIC 245
Privacy 245
The American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) 246
Charter 246
Contacting AARP 246
Call For Action, Inc. (CFA) 247
Charter 247
Contacting CFA 247
Your State Attorney General 249
Other Agencies and Organizations 256
Credit and ATM Card Problems 256
National Credit Bureaus 257
Employment and Investment Problems 258
Business Organizations 259
Chapter 14 The Telemarketing Sales Rule
Part 310 Telemarketing Sales Rule 261
310.1 Scope of regulations in this part 261
310.2 Definitions 261
310.3 Deceptive telemarketing acts or practices 264
310.4 Abusive telemarketing acts or practices 267
310.5 Record keeping requirements 269
310.6 Exemptions 270
310.7 Actions by States and private persons 272
310.8 Severability 272
Footnotes 273
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