Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Before buying anything from a website advertising on radio...

There are several types of radio advertisers, or cheap midnight advertisers. I don't intend to defame any. I would mention two scamer-types, and one example of easy avoidance.

Type A: Free report! You'll get rich! Look at this cool car, you can get that too!

Usually on TV, you'd see an ad for some 'blog', which is actually a sales pitch for some 'free book'. You pay for shipment, but then realize they have your credit card number and have sent you a box full of crap you don't need. The 'free book', is pretty much crap for dummies too.

I did this once, just to see what's on the other side. I called to ask not to be charged for all the crap I didn't order. When reaching a point where they tried to negotiate a price for the box of crap - and I declined - it came down to shipping the box to them on my expense or agreeing to get them off my back for about 3$ (they initially wanted 100$).

Lessons learned: 1. Don't buy anything advertised for dummies. It's obviously directed at low brain power deadbeats hoping to make billions. Assume you are not one of them and don't even try their website. 2. Don't agree to pay anything, call them as soon as you can and refuse to pay - see where that leads you.

Type B: Website full of propositions claiming to ship you something for free after you sign about 5 deals

I've heard several people who tried this and did get a product at some point. I heard some ad on the radio and logged in, didn't sign a single deal - didn't want the crap - but I did expose myself by just logging in and giving them a phone number.

The sites steal your identity. They bombard you with spam. They sell every bit of info you give them to electronic hackers who will try to exploit any possibility to steal from you. Including charging your cell phone for services you didn't ask.

Lesson learned: Don't beg for anything free off the web. Make sure your kids don't do this either. Make sure your wife doesn't do this. Let your friends know what happens. And inject yourself into conversations where some would claim to have successfully got a free iPod or something similar.

The solutions: 1. dump the email used, it will forever be held captive by spammers. 2. Make sure the email isn't attached to ebay/paypal and disconnect it if it does. 3. Call your cellphone carrier and request blocks on any services you haven't ordered, in particular SMS services. That's where the thieves are.

Above all, remember - if you pay online with credit card - use your card company's services to acquire alternative numbers. Once any shady entity gets hold of your real one - they will find a way to steal.

Avoid buying a book by 'free pamphlet' radio ad
It's very simple, if the radio ad directs to a site for free stuff - yet it's evident they are trying to sell you a book - search for the book on Amazon and read all the 'one star' reviews. You'll save yourself time and money.

In particular, here's an example: the one star reviews...

Cheers!

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