Links to Advice on Consumer Protection - Scams, Rogue Traders, Loan Sharks and Psychic Frauds
Some of these articles were written a few years ago, but are highly likely to be still relevant.
- Trading Standards Central - Trading Standards and Consumer Protection information for the UK.
When I was at university, I read a very interesting book on my course called Cheats At Work by Gerald Mars. It contained many interviews with people in a whole variety of different jobs about the dishonest and shady things they did. It concluded that such behaviour was common. No wonder consumers need protection!
- Consumer Direct (Advice online and by phone in the UK).
- An Overview of Consumer Rights (from the BBC).
- Car Repair Scams.
Several years ago, I heard that as many as three in five garages would rip customers off, often by doing unnecessary repairs and charging far more than they had originally supposedly estimated they would. The problem clearly hasn't gone away!
- Consumer Cons (Trading Standards, Bournemouth, UK).
- 6 Tip-offs to Rip-offs: Don't Fall for Health Fraud Scams.
- Fraud and the Elderly.
I have a cousin who's a solicitor, who has told me of cases she knows of where people have taken a confused elderly person to the bank and got them to transfer thousands of pounds of their savings to them. This practice and other types of fraudulent behaviour are exposed here.
- Classic Cons… and How to Counter Them.
- Scams (Information from the BBC Watchdog consumer programme).
- Work-At-Home Scams.
- Different types of scams.
- Phishing Scams. How to identify them, what to do about them, and a quiz to see whether you can spot them all.
- Warning against emails from Africans that ask to put money in your bank account and offer you a share of it.
These are now very common. The worst of them are the ones that offer to give money for projects such as the building of hospitals or orphanages, and then explain that they need some money first to enable the release of their gift from the bank, and then they disappear with your money and don't give you any of theirs!
- Online Dating Fraud (Safe From Scams.
It's becoming quite common for scammers from the developing world to target people from the West looking for love on Internet dating sites. They pretend to be really attracted to someone, strike up a relationship with them, and when the person has fallen for them, ask for money, claiming one of their family is suffering a medical emergency, or something else designed to tug on the heartstrings. If money is paid, they'll often chance their luck and ask for more, and more, and more. Thousands and thousands of pounds/dollars have been paid by individuals who just end up heartbroken when a scammer who convinced them they were in love with them disappears.
- Dentists ruin teeth for profit (The Observer, Apr 2000).
- Are you seeing the dentist too often? Pointless X-rays and needless check-ups could be adding up to a rip-off (MailOnline, Apr 2011).
- How The Cowboy Dentists Are Allowed To Ruin Our Teeth (The Observer, Apr 2000).
When I first went to secondary school at the age of eleven, a school dentist visited, and told me I needed a filling. Only weeks before, another dentist had said nothing was wrong. I had no toothache. Yet the one he gave me was huge!
Several years later, a consumer programme on BBC1, Watchdog, did a feature on dentists who perform unnecessary work. A model, working undercover for them, whose teeth were declared to be perfect, visited several dentists for check-ups. Most said she needed fillings. They varied in the number they said she needed. One even said she needed eleven!
The experience of being given a massive filling I probably didn't need and a couple of other things put me off going to dentists, but I went to another one after not having been to one for fifteen years, and he said I didn't need any fillings! I was very pleased! I thought he couldn't be the type to rip his patients off. I only went to him because a cap my school dentist had put on one of my teeth broke! Again, I hadn't needed the cap. My perfectly healthy, sharp tooth that was cut down to enable it to fit was only the wrong way around! I'm pretty sure the procedure was merely cosmetic. I was quite young so just accepted what people in authority said then. I wasn't actually asked whether I'd like the treatment. My new dentist glued another bit to the cap in place of the bit that had broken off, but said that when dentists do that to caps, the new bits tend to break off soon, and if it did, he'd have to drill even more of my tooth away to fit a new one! Since so much of it had gone already, I wasn't too pleased.
Loan Sharks Lending Money at Excessive Interest Rates:
To the People's Concerns Page which features audio interviews on topics including people's stories of school bullying and their suggested methods of dealing with it, experiences of university life - including the fun side, and the tale of a cycling accident that could have been disastrous if it hadn't been for reflective gear.
There is also a self-help section on this site that covers such problems as depression, various phobias and other anxiety disorders, marriage problems, coping with bullies in the workplace or bullying or teasing at school, addictions, suffering with an eating disorder, an anger problem, recovering from the trauma of sexual abuse or domestic violence, coping with unemployment, and other things. Go to the self-help section.
There is also a section on the site about what the Bible says about topics such as violence, love and caring, prejudice, sex and marriage, drunkenness, and over-enthusiasm for money. Go to the Bible page
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