Area Code 809

Have you ever heard of area code 809?  Don’t feel bad if you haven’t because it probably is not an area code with which you would be familiar unless you make a lot of calls to the Caribbean.   Similar to the 900 scam, you may receive a call in your voice mail telling you that you have won a contest or even that someone you know has gotten into difficulties and needs your help.  In any event, you are prompted to call a number beginning with the area code 809 which at charges of $25 per minute can run up your phone bill to outrageous levels quite quickly.

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Always be skeptical of any call instructing you to call the area code 809 unless you truly do know who is calling and that they are in the Caribbean.

Weight Loss Scams

Many of us would like to lose a few pounds and many more of us would like to lose more than a few pounds.  Eating a healthy diet and regular exercise are the keys to weight loss, but that is not quick enough or easy enough for people looking for shortcuts.  Phony weight loss products and programs are rampant and as fast as the FTC goes after one scheme (as they did in 2007 when they went after four companies who agreed to pay 25 million dollars in fines) another one pops up.

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Be wary of any weight loss product sold exclusively through mail order or exclusively over the Internet.  Remember that weight loss programs that promise quick results without diet or exercise are impossible.  Check with the FTC if you have doubts about a weight loss company.

Exercise Equipment Scam

Exercise is good for us.  We all know that.  We also would like to find exercise equipment that makes exercising easier, quicker and more efficient.  Scam artists take advantage of our desire to find that perfect exercise equipment that will all but do the work for us and provide tremendous results in little time.  The problem is that such equipment probably does not exist.  Beware of inflated claims and again don’t trust the advertisement merely because it appears in media that you trust.  The media may not have done their homework to investigate the product before accepting the advertisement.  The FTC is always looking for exercise scams, but they have a hard time keeping up with the scammers.

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Read the fine print carefully. There rarely is anything fine in fine print.  Find out how much this is going to cost you.  How many “easy” monthly payments are you locking yourself into?  And beware of guarantees from companies that you don’t know.  The guarantees are only as good as the company that gives them.  Check with the FTC about any exercise equipment you may consider if it appears too good to be true.