shock therapy to avoid scams

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1. Shock therapy to avoid scamsBy 2. The annual list of the top 10 consumercomplaints is out, and it features familiarscams. Once again, the report is a goodreminder to be careful. Some of the scamshave become more sophisticated, withmore high-tech ways of stealing yourmoney. Topping the list are autocomplaints, including misrepresentationsin advertising or sales, faulty repairs, andleasing and towing disputes. 3. In second place are complaints about credit anddebt. The category includes mortgagemodifications and mortgage-related fraud,credit-repair schemes, debt-relief services,predatory lending, and illegal or abusive debt-collection tactics. The five fastest-growingcomplaints are about fraud, debt-collectionabuses, do-not-call violations, mortgage-relatedissues, and problems that people have had withboth legitimate and sham home-improvementcompanies. 4. New to the list this year are real-estate-relatedcomplaints. Hard times have left many peoplewanting to dump their timeshares, or at leastget out from under yearly maintenance feesthey can no longer afford. This desperation onthe part of timeshare owners has been a boonto schemers. In one such swindle, timeshareresellers tell folks they can help them unloadtheir unwanted properties and ask for anupfront fee for the service. Im sure you canguess what happens. 5. No buyers are found, no helpis really offered and peopleare out of their money, stuckwith a timeshare they cantafford. But then anothertimeshare crook swoops in toadd insult to financial injury.Timeshare recoverycompanies offer to helpowners get back the fundslost to resellers. They ask foran upfront fee. Its a doublefinancial whack because this,too, turns out to be a scam.