Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Websites With Scams to Look Out For

The Office of the Ohio Consumers Counsel came out with a lovely website devoted to scams of all kinds: not by company name, but by type. It has a list of scams, you click on the name, and it gives a brief description of the scam and how it works.
This got me to thinking about other sites that can warn you about rip-offs and scam artists. Besides unedited rants by anonymous people claiming to be ripped off by someone, where do you turn for solid, well-vetted information? Here’s some of my favorites:

Speak Out Ohio. An excellent website by the Ohio Attorney General, with new scam listings, plus a searchable database of consumer complaints, searable by names or keywords.
· Better Business Bureau. Their business checkup can be searched by name and phone number for charities and businesses. Sometimes the information is sketchy, or very guarded, but if you read between the lines, it tells you what you need to know. For instance, if you look at their information on “free grant” sites, and you see a lot of caveats—stay away!
· Snopes. This fine site does not list names, but types of scams, searchable by the word scams.
· FBI –E Scams. This site by the FBI tells about all sorts of e-mail scams by type.
· Tax scams. This is by the IRS, and tells about types of scams and dubious tax claims. Bonus goodness: Link to an IRS site devoted to "frivolous" tax claims i.e. income tax is voluntary, etc., with links to actual cases.
· Scholarship scams. A site by the federal Department of Education on what to look out for in sites promising scholarship money.
· Federal Trade Commission. A site covering all sorts of consumer and scam issues.

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