Latest News

Mystery Shopper Scam

March 22, 2017

Dear Consumer Ed:  After taking an online survey, I received an offer for a mystery shopper job.  I completed a brief online training and I was sent a check for $1,300 to start work.  The first job was to evaluate a wire transfer service by sending a $1,000 money transfer and then answering some questions about the experience. They said I could keep the remaining $300 as my fee.  They even said I should wait a week before making the transfer to allow the check to clear first, but it still sounds fishy to me.  What do you think?

Hotel keeping copies of driver's license and debit card for 3 months

February 2, 2017

Dear Consumer Ed:  I stayed at a hotel in Georgia that required that I provide them with my driver’s license and debit card. It made me feel uncomfortable because I’m concerned my information will be compromised.  The manager said they will keep a copy of my license and debit card for three months and then shred them.  Is that legal? If it is, it shouldn’t be.

Beware of roofers scamming storm victims

January 23, 2017

Dear Consumer Ed:  My roof was damaged during a recent storm.  A roofer came to my door and, after looking at my roof, offered to replace it for $20,000. He said the company would pay my insurance deductible if I agreed to let them put a sign in my yard with their company name on it. The price seems high, but they said my insurance would cover all of it.  Do you think this is on the level?

Medical bills exceed amount quoted

December 22, 2016

Dear Consumer Ed:  I recently underwent outpatient surgery.  The doctor’s office told me that my out-of-pocket costs would be $525.  I paid the money and had the procedure.  A month later I received two bills: one for $150 for the anesthesiologist and one for $110 for the surgeon.  I don’t think I should have to pay these bills because I was told ahead of time that I only owed $525.  However, I am concerned that if I don’t pay these bills, it will hurt my credit rating.  What should I do?

How much more can gas stations charge for using credit card vs. cash?

December 13, 2016

Dear Consumer Ed:  I see a number of gas stations that offer a lower price if you use cash instead of a credit or debit card. At one station the cash price was $2.30 but the credit price was $3.20, although the only place that was displayed was on the pump itself. A 90 cent price differential seems out of bounds to me. Are there any limits as to how much more a station is allowed to charge for using a credit card vs. cash?  Also, are gas stations required to display the credit card price so that it is easily readable when you are driving by?

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