I remember getting a letter in the mail telling me I could get a loan for up to $10,000 at 3% interest. I began filling out the request form but then a little warning bell went off in my head. The form was unlike any normal credit application I had seen, I didn’t recognize the name of the company, and it was too good to be true given that they didn’t require any collateral. I looked it up online and sure enough it was a scam. Instead of cash, they gave you a credit card with a limit of $10,000 which could only be used to purchase overpriced merchandise from their catalog.
I have since decided it’s a good idea to check anything out before spending a significant amount of money, especially since it’s so easy to do online. That goes for companies you’re going to sign up with or products you’re going to purchase. Epinions and Amazon are good resources to find out about products and Planet Feedback and ResellerRatings.com provide useful information about companies and their business practices. If I had taken my own advice and read up on items and companies, I probably would have avoided many of the hassles I’ve had in the past.
In fact, just recently I saw one of Don Lepre’s infomercials (I’m sure you’ve seen him. He’s the guy who made millions by placing tiny classified ads) and wondered if it was legitimate. I quick search on the internet revealed dozens of people explaining what you get and that it was a scam. It’s surprising how believable he can be when he’s lying through his teeth.
I was reminded of all of this by some comments on my double your money and Clear credit scam blog entries. I love it when people who were going to join find my site and learn that it’s a scam before they lose any money, but I’m also saddened to hear from people who found out too late.
I’ve said it before, but I think it’s worth repeating.
If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
Doing nothing other than following that advice would put most scam artists out of business.