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NCJ Number: 49953 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: BUYERS BEWARE
Author(s): ANON
Corporate Author: San Diego Cty Office of the District Attorney
United States of America
Date Published: 1978
Page Count: 59
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
San Diego Cty Office of the District Attorney
San Diego, CA 92101
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
Box 6000, Dept F
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America
Document: PDF
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: THE MOST EFFECTIVE DETERRENT TO FRAUD IS AN ALERT AND INFORMED PUBLIC. VARIOUS TYPES OF FRAUD ARE DESCRIBED AND INSTRUCTIONS FOR CONSUMERS IN DEALING WITH FRAUD ARE PROVIDED.
Abstract: FRAUD IS AN ILLEGAL ACT CHARACTERIZED BY GUILE, DECEIT, MISREPRESENTATION, AND CONCEALMENT; IT IS NOT DEPENDENT ON PHYSICAL FORCE OR THE THREAT OF FORCE. IT MAY BE COMMITTED BY AN INDIVIDUAL OR A WELL-PLANNED CONSPIRACY TO OBTAIN MONEY, PROPERTY, OR SERVICES, OR TO SECURE BUSINESS OR PERSONAL ADVANTAGE. THE ESTIMATED COST OF FRAUD IS $40 BILLION ANNUALLY IN THE UNITED STATES. THE FOLLOWING GUIDELINES ARE SUGGESTED TO HELP CONSUMERS PROTECT THEMSELVES AGAINST FRAUD: (1) REMEMBER THAT WE GET WHAT WE PAY FOR; (2) EXPECT HUMAN WEAKNESS AND OBTAIN AT LEAST THREE PRICES OR ESTIMATES BEFORE BUYING; (3) DO NOT SUBMIT TO SALESPERSONS' HIGH PRESSURE TACTICS; (4) INSIST THAT ALL THE FACTS OF THE PURCHASE OR AGREEMENT BE IN WRITING; (5) UNDERSTAND ALL PROVISIONS OF CONTRACTS; AND (6) SHOP COMPARATIVELY FOR CREDIT. THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY'S FRAUD DIVISION USUALLY MAINTAINS EXTENSIVE FILES ON CONSUMER COMPLAINTS AND CAN INFORM THE CONSUMER IF A FIRM OR SALESPERSON HAS A RECORD OF COMPLAINTS. CONSUMER COMPLAINTS, HOWEVER, GENERALLY MUST BE RESOLVED THROUGH CIVIL LITIGATION. NUMEROUS POSSIBILITIES FOR FRAUD EXIST IN THE AUTO REPAIR INDUSTRY, HOME IMPROVEMENT SERVICES, APPLIANCE REPAIR SERVICES, AND SELF-IMPROVEMENT SCHEMES. BUSINESSES AND BUYERS SHOULD BEWARE OF PYRAMID FRANCHISES, FRANCHISE INVESTMENTS, WORK AT HOME SCHEMES, COMMODITY OPTION BROKERS, VENDING MACHINE PROMOTIONS, AND THE 'HOLDER IN DUE COURSE' DOCTRINE. FRAUDS AGAINST BUSINESS INCLUDE EMBEZZLEMENT, PILFERAGE, SHOPLIFTING, COMPUTER FRAUD, BRIBES, KICKBACKS, PAYOFFS, CREDIT CARD FRAUD, AND CHECK FRAUD. SCHEMES DIRECTED PRIMARILY AT CONSUMERS INVOLVE BAIT AND SWITCH TACTICS, UNORDERED MERCHANDISE, HOME FREEZER PLANS, MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTIONS, RETIREMENT HOMES, CHARITABLE SOLICITATIONS, FAKE LABORATORY TESTS, MEDICAL FRAUD, COMPUTER DATING, SONG AND BOOK PUBLISHERS, AND DEBT ADJUSTING. CONSUMERS WHO HAVE A COMPLAINT SHOULD CONTACT THE BUSINESS OR FIRM FROM WHOM THEY RECEIVED THE SERVICE OR PRODUCT BY LETTER OR TELEPHONE. FOLLOWUP LETTERS SHOULD BE SENT IF NEEDED WITH COPIES TO THE ATTORNEY GENERAL, THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY, THE CITY ATTORNEY, AND NEWSPAPERS AND RADIO AND TELEVISION STATIONS IN THE AREA. MOST LIBRARIES HAVE COPIES OF 'STANDARD AND POOR'S' DIRECTORY OF BUSINESS ADDRESSES. A CONSUMER INFORMATION DIRECTORY IS INCLUDED WHICH CONTAINS A LIST OF AGENCIES TO ASSIST THE CONSUMER. DRAWINGS ILLUSTRATE THE TEXT.
Index Term(s): Consumer fraud; Consumer protection; Fraud; Procedure manuals; Public education
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=49953

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