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The Careful Consumer
HOME REPAIR AFTER THE FLOOD – APRIL 2017
HOMEOWNERS - As storm clouds begin to clear, dishonest contractors may try to take advantage of home owners. To assure that you hire only reputable contractors, you may verify the license of any contractor online. Also, obtain at least three bids, demand a written contract, and avoid paying cash. California contractors cannot charge more than a 10% down payment or $1,000 – whichever is less. CONTRACTORS - All CA employers with one or more employees must provide workers’ compensation benefits to their employees. To report uninsured contractors, call the Santa Clara County Worker’s Compensation Insurance Fraud Hotline at (408)792-2466.
SWEEPSTAKES WINNER SCAM - FEBRUARY 2017
If you really win a sweepstakes, by law you do not have to pay anything other than "reasonable shipping and handling".
PG & E UTILITY SCAM - JUNE 2016
Scammers impersonating PG&E employees are calling small businesses and threatening to disconnect their electric service unless the businesses make an immediate payment with a prepaid cash card.
TECH SUPPORT SCAM - APRIL 2016
Do not respond to a pop-up notification on your computer or a telephone call by a scammer telling you that your computer is infected with a virus! Doing so can lead to costly repairs and loss of personal information.
TWELVE HOLIDAY SHOPPING TIPS - DECEMBER 2015
The Consumer Unit has put together twelve tips for safe shopping in time for the holidays.
SALES PRESENTATIONS - AUGUST 2015
Consumers are often invited to “free” meals at local restaurants or upscale hotels. The goal of these invitations is to sell something to you while pretending to be an educational or social event. So ask yourself, “What is being served along with the meal?”
IMMIGRATION FRAUD - MAY 2015
Do you need assistance with immigration papers? Use only professionals who are trained to assist you, not notarios. Notarios are not lawyers.
FRAUDE DE INMIGRACIÓN – MAYO DE 2015
¿Necesita ayuda con papeles de inmigración? Utilice a sólo los profesionales que están capacitados para ayudarle, no notarios. Notarios no son abogados.
LƯỜNG GẠT DI TRÚ - THÁNG NĂM, 2015
Đề phòng những kẻ lường gạt hứa hẹn giúp đỡ về vấn đề di trú với tiền lệ phí cao và bảo đảm. Những kẻ lường gạt này không đạt tiêu chuẩn để làm công việc này. Bạn hãy chọn một luật sư, một cơ quan tư vấn di trú tín cẩn, hoặc một cơ quan không vụ lợi nơi mà họ cung cấp dịch vụ di trú miễn phí hoặc lệ phí thấp.
IRS SCAM ALERT - FEBRUARY 2015
As tax day approaches, beware of scammers claiming to be IRS agents or officers asking for immediate payment of delinquent taxes. The IRS will not call or send emails to tax payers with threats of arrest or legal action. Do not become a victim of this scam: do not send money, and do not give out any personal information.
HEALTH STUDIO OR CLUB - JANUARY 2015
One of the most popular New Year resolutions is to exercise. If you joined a club but changed your mind, you may cancel your membership within 5 days after signing the contract, by mailing or personally delivering a written notice to the address specified in the contract. It is advisable to keep a copy of the cancellation notice and proof of delivery.
EMAIL PHISHING SCAM - DECEMBER 2014
A new scam is sneaking into many email boxes this holiday season. Unless you are absolutely sure about the origin of an email with a link, do not click on it.
OPEN ENROLLMENT MEDICARE SCAM – NOVEMBER 2014
Scammers are taking advantage of Medicare’s Open Enrollment. Do not give out any personal information in response to calls or emails claiming Medicare needs to update your information.
LICENSED HOME CONTRACTOR - SEPTEMBER 2014
Your tip-off that the home repair contractor is not licensed: the six-digit number is not on any printed documents, including ads, the side of the truck, the business card, or the contract. For more information, visit the California Contractors State License Board's website.
ON-LINE PURCHASES - SEPTEMBER 2014
If you make an online purchase, that website must display a physical address where the company can be reached on page you placed your order on or the "Contact Us" page.
AUTOMOBILE PURCHASES - SEPTEMBER 2014
When you purchase a new car from an auto dealer, you do not have the right to cancel. Make sure the contract you sign is affordable and covers all the promises that were made during negotiations.
Last updated: 10/24/2018 3:17 PM
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