Scam of the day – June 28, 2017 – FTC paying victims of timeshare resale scam

Timeshares are a legitimate vacation option for many people, but resales have sometimes been difficult for timeshare owners and scammers have been  preying upon timeshare owners trying to sell their interests with promises of buyers that never materialize after charging the timeshare owners upfront fees of sometimes thousands of dollars.

The FTC took action recently against one of these timeshare resale scammers, Information Management Forum, Inc which did business as Vacation Property Marketing as well as its owner Edward Lee Windsor.  In this scam, victims were lured by telemarketing calls into paying registration fees for a service that the scammers promised would provide renters or buyers for the victims’ timeshare units.  Unfortunately, it was all a scam.  Fortunately, the FTC was able to recover funds that are now being returned to the victims of this particular timeshare scam.

TIP

If you were a victim of this particular scam, go to the top of the page and click on “FTC Scam Refunds” for more specific information about the refund program.

As for anyone who is considering selling their timeshare unit, always check out the legitimacy of anyone proposing to help you sell your timeshare.  You can check with your state’s attorney general at and your local consumer protection agencies.  Make sure you have a lawyer review any contract before you sign it and it is a good idea not to pay in advance for the services of someone purporting to assist you in reselling your timeshare unit.

Scam of the day – June 10, 2017 – FTC sending more refund checks regarding weight loss supplements

In June of 2016 I reported to you that the FTC had settled a lawsuit with Genesis Today, Pure Health and Lindsey Duncan regarding false and misleading claims that they made about their green coffee bean extract weight loss products.  I first reported to you about this FTC action in the Scam of the Day for January 27, 2015.    Duncan and his companies claimed green coffee bean extracts would enable users to lose 17 pounds and 16% of their body fat in 12 weeks without diet or exercise.  Duncan also referred to a severely flawed clinical study which he claimed supported his claims.  Helping his sales of the weight loss product were his television appearances on legitimate shows such as The View and The Dr. Oz Show.  Dr. Oz received much criticism while testifying before Congress regarding the recommending of green coffee bean extracts for weight loss on his show.    In 2016 the FTC mailed checks to people who bought the supplements online and for whom the FTC had addresses.  Now the FTC is mailing 38,533  more refund checks totaling 1.9 million dollars to victims of the scam who bought the supplements from retailers such as Walmart.   If you bought the supplements at a retail store, you can apply for a refund by going to the tab at the top of the page designated “FTC Scam Refunds” for the forms you need.

TIPS

The truth is that there are no quick fixes when it comes to weight loss and you should be wary of any product that promises you can lose tremendous amounts of weight quickly without dieting or exercise.  You should also be wary of any weight loss product that is sold exclusively either over the Internet or through mail-order advertisements.  It is also important to remember that no cream that you rub in your skin can help you lose substantial weight and no product can block the absorption of fat or calories.  The best course of action is to ask your physician about the effectiveness of a particular weight loss product or program before you reduce your wallet in an effort to reduce your waistline.

If you bought the supplements at a retail store, you can get information about the refunds by going to the tab at the top of the page designated “FTC Scam Refunds.”

Scam of the day – February 14, 2017 – FTC issuing refunds to buyers of indoor tanning system

Today being Valentine’s Day is probably a good time to tell you that the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is now mailing 2.59 million dollars of refunds to the purchasers of the Mercola indoor tanning systems, which was represented by Mercola to not only provide you with an attractive, healthy tan, but also be safe, not increase your risk of melanoma, and even reverse the appearance of aging.  The FTC sued Mercola over these false and misleading representations.

Unfortunately, the truth is that we need to adjust our thoughts on the attractiveness of a tan because there is no such thing as a healthy tan and no tanning system can avoid the risk of melanoma or reverse the appearance of aging.

In 2016, the FTC settled its complaints against Dr. Joseph Mercola and his indoor tanning system companies, D-Lite, SunSplash and Vitality.  Now the FTC is mailing refund checks to the customers of these companies who bought the indoor tanning systems after January 1, 2012.

TIPS

Customers of Dr. Mercola who completed a claim form prior to October 31, 2016 will be receiving refund checks averaging about $1,897.  If you receive a check you should cash or deposit it within sixty days.  No fee is required to be paid in order to be eligible for or receive one of these refund checks.  For more information, click on the tab at the top of this page that reads “FTC Scam Refunds.”

Scam of the day – July 30, 2016 – FTC refunding millions to victims of extended warranty scam

The FTC is sending out more than four million dollars in refunds to the thousands of victims of an extended warranty scam perpetrated by Fereidoun “Fred” Khalilian and his company The Dolce Group Worldwide, LLC.  Using the name My Car Solutions, victims received robocalls luring them into paying for extended automobile warranties that, in truth, provided no coverage.  Extended warranty scams have been with us for years.  Actually, they are not “extended” warranties at all because if you read the fine print you will notice that although the notice you may receive, often by postcard, looks official,  it is not from either the car manufacturer who issued your original warranty nor the car dealer who sold you the car.  The warranties themselves vary from scammer to scammer with some of the “extended” warranties being relatively worthless, but with all of them based on misrepresentations.  In the case of Khalililian, his extended warranty scams were sold through illegal robocalls.  Whenever someone tries to sell you something through a robocall, you can be sure it is a scam.

TIP

Always read the fine print of any communication you receive regardless of how official it looks.  In regard to car warranties, it is always a good idea to check with your dealer as to what warranties cover your car. Never trust anything that comes to you by way of an illegal robocall.

If you were a victim of Khalilian’s scam you are eligible to receive a refund.  The refunds are being processed for the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) by Rust Consulting, Inc.  Checks are being mailed out now and must be cashed within 60 days.  Also, remember that you will never be charged any kind of fee to receive such refunds.  Anytime you are asked for a processing fee to receive such a refund, it is a scam.  For more information about getting your refund in this case go the “FTC Scam Refunds” tab at the top of this page.

Scam of the day – July 29, 2015 – FTC refunds money to victims of Yellow Pages scam

The FTC has settled a claim against a company known as Your Yellow Book which sent out invoices to companies bearing a logo like the famous walking fingers logo used by the legitimate Yellow Pages.  The invoices indicated that they were only verifying or updating an already existing business relationship when in fact there was no prior business relationship and no prior contract for a listing in the Your Yellow Book’s online business directory, which had no relationship with the legitimate Yellow Pages.  Many people paid the invoices that ranged up to $487 not realizing that the bill was a total misrepresentation.  Two of the people involved in Your Yellow Book, Brandie Law and Robert Law had previously been involved with similar actions in 2011 and 2012.  The FTC is now, through a claims administrator mailing more than 3,133 checks to victims of this scam.  For more information about these refunds go to the tab at the top of the page marked “FTC Scam Refunds.”

TIPS

If you were a victim of this scam and have not yet received your check, click on the tab at the top of this page marked “FTC Scam Refunds” for information as to how to claim your refund.  However, everyone else should take a lesson from this common scam and never pay an invoice merely because you get what appears to be a legitimate looking bill until you have confirmed that the bill is indeed legitimate and that you or your company actually received the services for which you are billed.  This particular scam is both simple and effective so it is up to you to be on the lookout for it.

Announcement of major additions to Scamicide

Here at Scamicide we are excited to announce four substantial new additions to the Scamicide website which we think will be of great use to our readers.  A the top of the website are four new tabs: FTC scam refunds, Speaker Kit, Sizzle Reel and If You are a Victim of Identity Theft.

The FTC scam refund tab will take you to the section of the FTC website that provides constantly updated information as to FTC refund programs to people who have been victimized by various scams where the FTC has collected funds to reimburse the victims.  If you have been the victim of a scam, I suggest you check this section on a regular basis to see if you are eligible to receive compensation for your loss and how to apply for a payment.

The Speaker Kit and the Sizzle Reel describe the public speaking activities of Steve Weisman along with information if you wish Steve to speak to your company, association or group.

The If You are a Victim of Identity Theft tab provides access to detailed information and forms as to what steps you should take in the event you become a victim of identity theft.  It is invaluable.

We are always trying to make Scamicide better and invite your thoughts and comments, as well as to what you would like to see added to Scamicide.  Meanwhile you can rest assured that every day we will provide the most current and updated information about scams and identity theft to help keep you safe.