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Fraudulent Schemes

NCJ Number
R L Staskiewicz
Date Published
61 pages
The costs of consumer fraud are passed on to all consumers through increases in the cost of merchandise or direct losses. This booklet is intended to help Nebraska consumers detect some of the more common fraudulent schemes.
Consumer fraud is defined as an illegal act associated with guile, deceit, misrepresentation, deception, and concealment. Businesses have no alternative but to include all costs in the price of merchandise and services they sell. Authorities report that over 800 different schemes have been used to trick consumers. Perpetrators of consumer fraud offer something for nothing or a great deal for very little, take advantage of the consumer's lack of specific knowledge about products or services they sell, offer beguiling promises, rely on tactics designed to prevent consumers from making pretransaction investigations, and play on victim emotions. Specific consumer fraud schemes covered in the booklet relate to unordered merchandise, home freezer-food plans, door-to-door salesmen, magazine subscriptions, retirement homes, charitable solicitations, medical fraud, computer dating, debt adjustment, and telephone sales. Service and repair frauds are also covered including home improvement fraud, automotive repairs, franchise investments, and work-at-home schemes. In addition, frauds against business are noted such as embezzlement and pilferage, shoplifting, computer fraud, credit card fraud, check fraud, and bribes and kickbacks. Information is offered on what Nebraska consumers can do if affected by a fraudulent scheme. Selected Federal, State, and local agencies that can help with consumer problems are listed.


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