Everyone is a consumer. It's a fact of life that cannot be avoided. Even when you put gas in your car or truck, you are considered a consumer. Anytime you buy anything, you are labeled a consumer. Consumers can also be victims. Thieves prey on consumers in stores and on the internet. Here are some tips for protecting yourself as a consumer in O'Fallon.
Learn how to spot fraudsters or imposters. Don't fall for those random calls from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), which will never actually call you, telling you that if you don't send money via a wire service an officer will come to your home and arrest you. This has been proven to be a scam time and again.
You should never believe everything you read on the internet but it is a great resource when researching a person or a business. You can find reviews from like-minded customers that might prevent you from working with a business that has had reputation issues in the past.
Never pay upfront for anything that seems like a promise, such as a job, a loan or debt relief. These are items you should never have to pay for before it actually is approved or sealed with a signature.
Use the free scam alert feature offered by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to your advantage. This feature will send you alerts via email about the latest scams going around the country.
As you can see, the FTC does a lot to educate consumers on protecting themselves from theft, scams and other fraudulent activity. Make sure you are aware of your surroundings and know what to look for in a potential scam that could cost you thousands of dollars.