Did you buy a revolutionary weight-loss product in 2009 only to put on five pounds while using it? Maybe you signed up for a work-from-home opportunity that would allow you to make $5,000 or more every month, only to receive a list of job ads printed from a craigslist.com site?
If you fell victim to either of these cons, or to any of the millions of other scams conducted across the United States last year, don’t feel bad: You’re far from alone.
Scamming U.S. consumers is big business for a lot of people. Just look at how famous the Web site FreeCreditReport.com has become: We all know those floppy-haired band mates singing about the financial woes they’ve suffered because they never did order their free credit reports. Turns out, those singers may be cute, but they’re not exactly honest: Several state agencies are suing FreeCreditReport.com because the “free” credit reports only come when consumers sign up for a decidedly not-free credit-monitoring service, proving that scams aren’t only run by shady characters hovering in front of computer screens in darkened basements.