Avoiding Pitfalls of the Scam Artist (Originally Published on The Shoestring.com)

You can find scam artists big and small every where you look in the world today. It may be a telemarketer offering you a trip that sounds too good to be true. It might be a car mechanic that overcharges you for an oil change. It can even be a friend who offers you a great job in a business that is basically shrouded in fraud. It can even be advice from a tarot reader.

One really has to watch themselves in the world today to make sure they are not a victim of scams. Just today, when I was buying coffee and a muffin at Loblaws, the price I paid yesterday, $1.60 CDN became $1.89 CDN today. The cashier told me that the price had gone up and it was interesting how I even made a mental note that she threw away the receipt I was supposed to receive when I bought my coffee yesterday.

Now, this is a small example, but my Dad was getting his a turn signal on his car fixed yesterday at a garage in Toronto where he goes often. The price for the service doubled from the quote. Now is this a fair business practice? Wouldn’t it be nice if we lived in a world where people told the truth?

Thinking that Canadians are more honest than other people are is fiction. Thinking that your own cultural group will not rip you off just as much as another culture would is also a non-realistic idea too. As a freelance writer, I was doing an advertorial (PR on my website) for a photographer where we agreed upon the payment and the only reason I’m writing about it in this article is that I was never paid for the work I did for him. He’s brown like me and crooked as a fault line after an earthquake.

Some of the ways to avoid scam artists are to ask questions. If something seems fishy – it probably is. Most of us know that saying that you can’t judge a book by its cover, but if you read it, then you can. Learn to read a situation, delve into it and look at any given scam situation closely.

If someone calls you asking you to give your money for something that seems too low in cost for what you’re getting – like a trip to Florida for a fraction of the price – question this. In many cases like this, whether dealing with a cashier, car mechanic or bank, it’s sometimes not the person employed themselves who are a fault – but there are some bad business practices going on.

Advice about checking out Better Business Bureaus is a good idea. I’ve heard about people who have been scammed by gym memberships, but this one place that I went to for a year called Trainers Fitness in Toronto was a trustworthy place. Their only sin was one woman asked me some noisy questions because I was good about fully using my membership, but they did not scam me financially and I lost weight. A win-win situation.

When doing business, try to get recommendations from people you respect. But, remember, sometimes the way a business or businessperson will treat your friend, co-worker or even family member is not the way they will treat you. You still have to read into the situation.

Good luck in all of your business dealings – and may wish you all a scam-free day!

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15 thoughts on “Avoiding Pitfalls of the Scam Artist (Originally Published on The Shoestring.com)

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