Let Joe Know: New year, same old scams - East Valley Tribune: East Valley Voices

Let Joe Know: New year, same old scams

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Posted: Saturday, January 4, 2014 6:00 am

It might be a new year, but a lot of you are seeing the same old scams.

And you’re letting me know about it.

One involves paying contractors too much too early.

It happened to Lynne.

Lynne says, “I always knew it was Friday. She needed a check or the guys wouldn’t be able to finish.”

She felt stuck because the contractor wouldn’t proceed without getting more money. And though she wasn’t satisfied with the work, Lynne ended up paying $42,000 for a mess.

Make sure your contract allows you to pay as the work is done to your satisfaction. Also, save a big payment until the end.

Another big problem I’ve seen involves buying a used car, but not getting the title.

Charlsie spent thousands on a car for her granddaughter. But months later, the dealer still didn’t have the title.

“Every day I was so excited, I would go to the mail, oh today I’m going to get the plates and registrations. It never came.”

Irvin had the same issue.

He told me he spent more than $4,000 on a car. But it turns out the previous owner had a lien on the title and it couldn’t transfer into his name.

“Honestly, I was shocked,” Irvin said.

We helped Charlsie get her title and Irvin get his money back.

But if you’re buying a used car, check out the title with the state to make sure there are no liens.

Finally, about those free checks people keep getting in the mail. Tear them up!

“I’m sorry, but it didn’t seem right to me,” Michelle Holt told me.

Holt did the right thing by not depositing this check she received.

Scammers might overpay you for something you’re selling online and ask for money back. Or they may pay you up front for a job opportunity that involves sending them money.

Either way, you lose.

• Joe Ducey is helping people like you everyday on ABC15 News at 6 p.m. If you’ve got a consumer issue you can’t solve, “Let Joe Know.” Contact him at joe@abc15.com or (855) 323-1515.

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