It’s easy to report unwanted calls. Just go to http://www.donotcall.gov, and click Report Unwanted Calls. Fill in your number and the number of the caller, along with some details, and that’s it. [This assumes you’ve already registered with them, which I did in 2010.]
I get some satisfaction from tattling on these annoying brats.
Pressing 2, or whatever, to be removed from the list doesn’t work. It just tells them the number is active, and they sell it on to even more advertisers. Talking to the reps does the same thing, it just makes it worse.
You may have heard the latest Big Bank scandal. Under pressure to get customers to open all kinds of accounts, Wells-Fargo employees have been opening accounts that people don’t know about. Some of the victims had only the briefest interaction with the bank, and ended up with credit cards and other accounts they didn’t know about. Some of those accounts incurred fees, and others will have damaged a person’s credit score.
It might be a good idea to go down to your nearest branch and ask one of the desk people to search their records for any accounts in your name.
If you haven’t done it lately, a free check on your credit report could show you any nefarious activity: https://www.annualcreditreport.com/requestReport/landingPage.action
Another free source is http://www.creditkarma.com.
Don’t fall for the name in freecreditreport.com, it’s only free with a paid membership.
There is a type of commercial I’ve learned to be suspicious of. The product always is supposed to solve a real life problem with amazing wonderfulness. They always offer a second one free or for a nominal price, “just pay an additional handling charge.”
After seeing the commercial for Zap! for the umpteenth time and wondering if it would clean the grout in my floor, I Googled “Zap! complaints.” The first result was a link to where it is sold on Amazon (not solely online as they claim). Here are the reviews:
Most said it was no more effective than any other ordinary cleaning product, and was not effective on grout.
When in doubt, Google it.
From the book:
Work at home ads
Somewhere in the help wanted section you will probably see an ad that says, “Home workers desperately needed.” I checked this out years ago. They send you a book of fake employers who supposedly hire piece workers.
I was good at cross-stitch so I applied for a cross-stitch job. The pattern they sent me was obviously wrong and resulted in a hot mess. When I corrected the pattern and made a good piece, they rejected it. For another one, they rejected everything I sent in. The only way to make a profit was to place ads like the one I had answered, selling this bogus book to other hopeful home workers.
- Real employers’ ads will have an email or snail mail address to which to send your resume.
- Scammers will have a phone number for you to call.
- Real employers will state the job tasks and the skills they expect you to have.
- Scammers will entice you with a dollar amount they say you can earn.
- Real employers don’t emphasize that the job can be done at home; they emphasize the nature of the job.
- Real employers don’t ask you to pay to apply for a job.
Unfortunately, real demand for people to work at home is very low. My conclusion is that work at home ads, especially if they ask you for money, are probably scams.
Also, watch out for the one about movie extras wanted. Cliff signed up for it and they tried to charge a monthly fee to his credit card. He got no jobs from it.
If movie extra work appeals to you, go directly to your local film commission to find work. Type your state and the words “local film commission” into an Internet search engine. One of the results will be an official website with contact information.
Marie Brack is the author of Frugal Living for the 21st Century: Adventures in Using Your Money Wisely. It’s available on Amazon.com in both Kindle and paperback versions.