Consumer Scams

Americans lose an estimated $40 billion a year in telemarketing fraud alone, and another $4 billion in mail scams. The victims are often seniors. You could be approached through the mail, by telephone, via e-mail or at your front door. Know your rights and where you might be vulnerable.

Articles and Info

Older Consumers Targeted By Fraudsters Not Once, But Twice!

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau discovered a financial scam targeting older consumers who had previously been victims of fraudulent money-making schemes. Learn how to identify these scams. More »


Directives and Ways to Avoid Financial Exploitation

Information about financial exploitation and how to avoid it. More »


Where to Find an Attorney for Specific Legal Advice

 All Legal Services programs in Arizona differ, and their criteria for accepting cases vary as well. Find out what programs are available and where to go for asssistance. More »


Identity Theft

Identity theft is the unauthorized use of someone’s personal data. Identity thieves may rummage through your trash, steal your wallet or skim encoded data from your credit card. Find out what to do and where to find help. More »


Consumer Protection - How to Avoid Scams

Americans lose an estimated $40 billion a year in telemarketing fraud alone, and another $4 billion in mail scams. And the victims are often seniors. Know your rights and how you might be vulnerable. More »


Questions

Question: I COSIGNED FOR AN AUTO LOAN FOR MY SON, AND LEARNED THAT THE DOCUMENTS WERE FALSIFIED HOW CAN I GET HELP WITH THIS?
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Question: My mother recently passed away while on hospice care. I did not have pre-arrangements made. Hospice offered to arrange services with the least expensive local funeral home. Since this is hospice' area of expertise, I agreed. This funeral home charged nearly twice what the other two businesses in the area charge. This company also was not the coroner designated on call mortuary for this particular month? I feel this is a scam, what can I do?
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Question: My wife and I are retired seniors. She brought home a flyer from the mailbox advertising a Handyman. Our evaporative cooler stopped working. This man came over and said he could fix it for $210.59. The next day he came back and after looking around for a while he said they don't make these kind of control boxes anymore. He came over that night with a friend of his, John, and they both decided they would have to look for the parts. The next day they both came back with a computer. Jim sat at the computer and started rattling off numbers to John who was using a calculator. After much running in and out to the cooler it was decided that the job would cost $1055.29. My wife and I looked at each other and decided we couldn't live without a cooler in Arizona. I asked Jim how much of a down payment he would need and he said all except $100.00 to buy the parts. I wrote out the check to Jim's Handyman Service. The next morning he called and said three of them had to go to Phoenix to get the parts but he would have to stop by my house first because they would not take a check made out to his business. I thought it strange that someone would run a business using personal checks but wrote out one to Jim Petty which my wife brought out to the gate and exchanged it for the business check. Therefore I never received a receipt for the $745.29 check. That afternoon they called me on the way back from Phoenix and told me that they would be at my house at 8:30 that night to install the parts. I reluctantly agreed and thought it very strange that they wanted to install the parts in the dark. At 9:45 pm the phone rang and they were at our front gate. I told them we were going to bed to come back in the morning. At 7:30 the next morning they were installing the parts into the cooler which included a new thermostat that was previously mentioned to cost between $300 and $400 alone. They finished the job by 9:30, I paid Jim the last $100 and they left. We had no instructions for the thermostat and only two scribbled over work orders mentioning $210.00,$118.00 and 109.00 in various spots on the work orders. We never received a contract, warranty, nothing! After the cooler started to cool the house down we found out it would not shut off or on automatically once it reached the ambient temperature. I called Lowe's and a man tried to help us because they sold that kind of thermostat but eventually said he couldn't help us because he would have to see how the control box was wired and that it was probably wired wrong. I called Jim and asked for an itemized invoice. He agreed but I never heard from him again. He also has not responded to my e mail messages. On one of the scribbled work orders was written a 10 year warranty on parts and labor and 5 years on the computer (if you can read it.) I only signed one of the work orders. This person has "Jesus is Lord" printed under his name on his business card. If you ask me that's all part of the scam. He and his friend John have no intention, that I can, see of ever contacting me. If I could, I would attach a picture of the 'kit' he installed. It all comes in one box and all the 'so called' parts including the thermostat cost $149.99!
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Question: How many days can a contract be cancelled?
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Question: My Divorce Attorney has lost over 500 pages of my families financial records.I have been closing accounts, fear of foul play. Should he be held accountable - what can I do, as he chose to ignore it.
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Question: I ordered a Printer from U-Bid for 75.00 and I used my Pay Pal account to pay for the purchase. When the ordered merchandise arrived, I received 3 printers instead of the one I ordered. Later I was billed for the two not ordered printers original printer was paid through pay pal. The second 2 Printers were billed, without my permission, on my Visa account at Wells Fargo. What is my legal responsabilty for the two extra printers. mailed and charged to me without my authorization.?
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Question: What can I do or whom shall I speak to about a fraudulent company for a mortgage loan modification. GREEN TREE FINANCIAL GROUP. We paid them 2,800 dollars and they acted very legitiment until I tried to get in touch with them a week ago. I found out through the California and Arizona policy that they are indeed frauds. Can you please help us. My home is now in foreclosure.
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Question: I think I am being scammed. I received a letter from a previous business firm with a demand to pay. There is no account number, no return address and no signature on the abnormal letter head. How can I tell?
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Question: Signed a contract with vacation club & they breached it in my opinion.I wanted $ back right away but have gotten runaround.I have been trying to end it since the first week, & now it's 2 1/2 months & no luck. I have documented everything; do I have any rights in this scam?
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Question: I am a victim of a ponzi scheme, lost all my money, am being sued by a friend, as if I was responsible, for fraud in Phoenix. Have spent countless hours trying to find an attorney to answer the complaint before it goes to a default judgement. Need desperately to talk to counsel.
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Question: After filing a "notice of claim" at the state attorney general's office, how much time does the state's attorney have to respond ?
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Question: What is the definition of habitable under AZ law. If move into apt. that has new carpet that makes one sick would that be uninhabitable? Thanks
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Question: My father who is 70 years old was approached by a Phoenix company. How do I find out if this company is legitimate? I think it's a scam and want to convince my Dad - as he is already filling out the paperwork. Thank you for your help in this matter.
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Question: What about lemon laws in AZ for used cars? My rights.
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Question: This scam is of a different nature. A seemingly nice looking man contacted me on Myspace with all the sweet words, found I was living on SSI and offered me a job. The job was what caught my attention, and this job is posted elsewhere, to buy certain "materials list" of a particular printer, ink, software to print so called payroll checks. He also offered me a chance to buy stock into Midwesttextiles.com. I have all his info where he wanted me to send the money by Money Gram. He also wanted my acct number to pay me for my work. They would send the "materials list" to me if I would like to invest. Since this is of a different nature, do I report it to AZ Attorney General or US?
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Question: How can I avoid being solicited by telemarketers and marketing mail?
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