How do you distinguish good deals from boondoggles? Watch out for these common ploys that can end up costing you dearly.
We all know the old mantra about things that sound too good to be true. It follows that if you come across a “deal” or opportunity that seems oddly hard to believe, it is wise to be skeptical. Many consumers end up losing money when they stumble upon offers that turn out to be scams, or at least end up costing much more than expected. It pays to be a smart shopper, so always be sure to do your research and read the fine print. You’ll also want to educate yourself about the main forms of online scams and how to avoid them.
Prices that come at a cost
Who doesn’t like to win a prize? It can be exciting to receive a notice in the mail that you have won a contest or performed well in a raffle. Then, in your excitement, you might not wonder if you even entered this contest in the first place. Fake “winning notification” notifications often come with a trap, usually in the form of a fee you have to pay to claim your “prize”. It’s a big red flag. Legitimate contests don’t ask for money from winners, according to Fraud.org. (You could, however, owe money to the IRS if you are required to report the value of the prize on your taxes.) Want to try your luck at legitimate opportunities to win? Check out these legitimate yet bizarre competitions you can participate in.