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5 Tips for Protecting Against Consumer Fraud

 
By Martin Harris in Consumer Advocacy
September 13th, 2011

In this fast paced modern world, it’s become critical for all consumers to be aware of and follow several basic precautions in order to protect against becoming the victim of potential fraud.

consumer protectionNobody likes the feeling of being ripped off. While the initial sting can be devastating, the lasting effects from being taken advantage of can cause many sleepless nights. In cases of identity theft, a consumer could possibly face years or even decades of problems arising from the financial entanglements caused from having personal information compromised.

Fortunately, there are precautions you can take as a consumer to avoid common scams and the headaches that come from being a victim. Armed with a little bit of common sense and the tips below, the risk of falling victim are sgnificantly decreased.

#1 : Do Your Due Diligence
As a consumer, one of the most important things you can do is research new and untrusted companies before you begin business with them. This is especially true of internet based companies and absolutely critical before making any type of investment. More often than not, a simple Google search can save you a lot of future headaches and heartaches.

#2 : Monitor Your Credit Report and Banking Statements
With identity theft on the rise, these days, it’s more important than ever to watch your personal information more closely than ever. You don’t have to use a third party monitoring agency such as Lifelock because all of the resources necessary are availabe to consumers for free if you know where to look and are proactive.

#3 : Make Yourself Aware of Consumer Laws and Rgulation
While you don’t have to become an expert, it’s important to at least glance and read the FTC’s studies about consumer fraud to help protect yourself. As stated on their site, “education is the best defense”

#4 : If It Seems Too Good To Be True, It Probably Is
While this seems like such an old adage, in today’s world, the saying is more true than ever. If you really believe you’re going to get that $700 iPad you want for $49.95 or get something for nothing, just remember what P.T Barnum said. “A sucker is born every minute” and that’s the motto con-men and scammers rely on to fleece people of their hard earned cash

#5 : Keep All Documentation of Transactions as Evidence
As an educated consumer, it’s imperative to keep receipts, records and anything else that might pertain to significant transactions to protect yourself against fraud. Don’t be the chump who throws away receipts when all it costs you to keep them is a shoebox. Should you find yourself in a sticky situation with the burden of proof resting on your shoulders, it can only help to have accurate documentation. Legitimate businesses will be more than happy to offer you receipts or documentation when doing business with them.





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One Response to '5 Tips for Protecting Against Consumer Fraud'

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  1. Justin Sockwell
    posted on September 14th, 2011

    I really felt that this great post needed a comment. You’ve illustrated a very important point. Thanks a lot for posting!



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