Legal Topics

grocery cart and judge gavel

The Consumer Rights - Protect Yourself In A World Of Scams

Most of us are aware that the world can be a cynical place, but we dont always expect that cynicism to come from people who are trusted as representatives of reputable businesses. The prevalence of scammers and con artists is no secret, and the unfortunate reality is that they tend to focus on those whom they believe to be their simplest targets: older, less affluent individuals. While there are many legitimate reasons to buy a private internet connection, there are also scammers who try to take advantage of unaware consumers by selling them something that doesnt exist. Unfortunately, theres no way to tell the difference between a legitimate and a scammy provider just by looking at their website. For that reason, you should always conduct due diligence before purchasing a private connection. Whether youre a senior or just someone who values your privacy above all else, its important to be informed about your rights as a consumer. Scams in any industry are insidious things; once you know what to look out for, most of them arent difficult to spot. However, when theyre presented in an almost ethical way, it can be difficult to tell whether or not youre reading an advert or being set up for a con. As such, here are some tips on protecting yourself from common scams.

When You Receive a Suspicious Phone Call

A phone call is one of the most common ways that scammers will attempt to lure you in. Youll receive an automated message, or perhaps an extremely convincing call from someone pretending to be a representative of a company you deal with regularly; anything from your local power company to federal security agencies. In most cases, the scammers will pretend that there is a problem with your account and attempt to get you to provide them with your personal information so that they can fix the issue. If you have any doubts as to the legitimacy of a phone call, hang up. You have no obligation to talk to anyone who calls you unless you are certain that you recognize the number. If you receive a phone call that you believe is a scam, report it to the company the scammers are pretending to represent.

Receiving Unsolicited Mail or Email

One of the most common ways that scammers attempt to get your attention is through unsolicited mail. This can include anything from emails to direct mail that targets individuals with certain characteristics. In the case of email, this can include anything from fake surveys to emails that appear to be from a government agency and ask for personal information. The key with all of these is to not engage with them and instead report them to the proper authorities. You might receive a letter that claims you have won a lottery or sweepstakes that you never entered or an email from a supposed friend who is trapped in a foreign country and needs money wired to them to return home. Regardless of how enticing the offer might be, mailing someone who has no connection to you is highly suspect.

If the offer seems too good to be true, it probably is. The inspector will investigate the matter and try to track down the sender, and shut down the scam email account if it is a false one. The ISP can also help with this by providing information on the IP address of the computer that sent out the email. To avoid being scammed by email, you should be careful about what you click on. One of the most common ways that scammers try to get you to click on a link is by sending an email that mimics a notification from a company that you do business with. For example, you might receive a message that looks like it is from your bank telling you that you need to update your account information. If you receive a letter that you believe is a scam, report it to your local postal inspectors office as well as the internet service provider of the sender.

When Someone Asks for your Credit Card Number

Credit card companies will ask for your card number when you make an online purchase, but that is the only time that it should ever be given out. Many unscrupulous companies will pretend to be your credit card company and request your card number so that they can instantly check your cards balance; this is, of course, completely false. Most credit card companies will never ask for your card number over the phone or via email, so if someone you have never done business with requests it, they are almost certainly attempting to scam you. If you are ever asked for your credit card number, demand to speak with a representative over the phone. If they refuse to do so, immediately report the incident to the police.

When Youre Offered Free Trials

In the beauty and health industries, you may be tempted by the promise of a product that will work wonders for your skin or help you lose weight if you only pay a small shipping and handling fee. The truth of the matter is that these free products are often shoddy, expired, or even dangerous to your health. If a company is offering you a product trial, it is likely a scam. If you are shopping online, be sure to check the shipping and handling charges as well as the expected delivery date. If the company has a money-back guarantee, be sure to read the terms and conditions to avoid any unexpected charges. Stay vigilant and do your due diligence when shopping online to avoid falling victim to a scam. Legitimate companies do not make money through shipping and handling fees and generally do not make use of false advertising. Few things are more tempting than a product that is being offered for free but beware. If you are ever offered a free trial, report the offer to your local consumer protection agency, and be sure to file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission.


The world is a tricky place, and it can be easy to fall prey to scammers. However, with a bit of knowledge and determination, you can protect yourself from the most common scams and continue living your life with minimal hassle. The main ones to keep in mind are that goods or services must be provided with due care and fit for their intended purpose. You have the right to seek redress if any of these are not met. As a consumer, you have the right to a fair contract: one that is clear and easy to understand. It must include essential information such as terms and conditions, what you are expected to do, and what happens in the event of a breach. You have the right to have your data protected. A good first step is to be aware of consumer rights. Once you know what red flags to watch for, its easy to spot a scam. One thing to remember is that if something seems too good to be true, it probably is. If something sounds too perfect to be real, it almost certainly is not.

Subscribe Your Email for Newsletter