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Consumer Scams

Tap and pay is arriving in the U.S.  A few retailers like Costco have already instituted “tap and pay” service. To make a purchase, you simply tap your credit card on the card reader, and, voila!  Your purchase is complete.  There is no wait for the card to go through and nothing to sign.  Canada, the United Kingdom, and parts of Europe have been using tap and pay systems for several years, but the U.S. has been slower to embrace the technology.  Yet, analysts expect contactless credit and debit cards to become commonplace in the U.S. over the next 3 years.

The holidays are a busy season.  People are shopping, baking, decorating and socializing with friends.  Food banks and charities work to raise funds during the holidays because they know it is the time of year when people are the most generous.  Con-artists and scammers also love the holidays.  They know that busy people can be careless people. 

Watch Out for Air Purifier Scams and Frauds.

People naturally fear, germs and polluted air.  Arizona city air contains, dust, pollens, hydrocarbons, metals and other pollutants.  People want to breathe clean air in their homes, and some have come to believe that air purifiers are the answer. Do portable air purifiers sold for homes solve the problem?  This article is intended to explore that question.

There are risks as well as benefits to using a mobile device such as a smartphone or a tablet to access bank or credit card account information or to make purchases or payments. This article describes some of these pros and cons and concludes with a series of tips intended to help Arizona consumers practice safe and secure mobile banking.

If you don’t already have a virtual home assistant, you have undoubtedly seen the ads on TV and the internet.  There is currently a big push to promote Amazon Echo, Google Home, Google Home Mini, and other similar technologies.  While it may be convenient to have a virtual assistant to turn on the dishwasher, order groceries, and answer trivia questions, privacy concerns have arisen that are both complex and troubling.  Those privacy issues pose serious legal questions and impact our civil rights.

These days most of us use our WI-FI devices while traveling.  We use them in hotels, airports, RV parks, and coffee shops. While surfing the web in public has become part of our daily lives, we must always be aware that public networks pose serious security risks.  We need to be aware of the dangers and know how to protect against them.

Solar power scams have become big business in Arizona. A few years ago, the problem was so pervasive it prompted legislation requiring solar companies to use at least 10-point type in their contracts and forcing them to disclose some of the onerous terms they routinely included.  Solar panels on homes have also become a point of controversy with Arizona utility companies.  The utilities complained that solar homeowners were not paying their fair share of the costs of building and repairing electrical grids.  All these issues lead to the big question: “Is it worth it to install solar panels on your roof?”

This information comes directly from the Internal Revenue Service.

If someone filed a federal tax return with your personal information without your consent, you may be a victim of identity theft.

Generally, identity theft occurs when someone uses your name or other identifying information for personal gain.  One example is filing a tax return to get someone else’s tax refund.  The enclosed publication 4535, Identity Theft Prevention and victim Assistance, has information you may find helpful.

Internet transactions have become more prevalent every year.  People use sites like Craigslist, Facebook, LetGo, OfferUp and many others to buy and sell everything from cars to iPhones and concert tickets.  The days of putting a classified ad in the newspaper to sell used items is gone.  Today, deals are made over the internet.    Yet, these internet deals can be risky.

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. You could be approached through the mail, by telephone, via e-mail or at your front door. Know your rights and how you might be vulnerable. As the old adage goes: “If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.”

This website has been prepared for general information purposes only. The information on this website is not legal advice. Legal advice is dependent upon the specific circumstances of each situation. Also, the law may vary from state-to-state or county-to-county, so that some information in this website may not be correct for your situation. Finally, the information contained on this website is not guaranteed to be up to date. Therefore, the information contained in this website cannot replace the advice of competent legal counsel licensed in your jurisdiction.