Eat, drink and be wary

Looking for a good time and good eats at a good price? Getting a deal on a food festival or other event is terrific. But don’t let scammers leave a bad taste in your mouth by taking a big bite out of your money — and giving you nothing in return.

While there are many legitimate festivals advertised online, we’ve read news reports and consumer complaints about scam artists who promote fun-and-food-filled days of crab feasts, concerts and similar events on social shopping sites. People buy the tickets, but when they show up at the so-called venue, they find nothing there but other victims of this ruse.

Here are ideas on how to spot and avoid food fest flim-flams:

  • Check it out. Type the name of the festival and/or its promoters in your search engine along with the words “scam,” “fake,” or “fraud.” If you see others have been scammed, there’s a great chance you will be, too. If the event has taken place in other towns, search for online reviews.
  • Look for contact information… and be sure it actually works.  Is there any contact information on the website? If there’s an email or phone number, try them out. If they don’t work, if you don’t get a response within a reasonable time, or if you don’t like the response, forget it. Don’t share your card number or any other information.

Whenever you buy products and services — online or off — learn to keep yourself safe from scammers. And file a complaint with the FTC if someone tries to gobble up your money with a fake offer.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

Comments

I was ripped off for $78.00 by Avast             . They charged me for 2 of their products Then I found out that they offer ALL products for FREE. Also they have a separate company that advertises that they are support for Avast.

They got into my computer which got a virus (and it should have been protected in the first place) told me I had microsoft services stopped. I SAW THEM turn them off myself wanted to charge me another $199.00. I kicked them iut of my computer Nd called Avast. The agent was rude saying it was ally fault. I demanded a refund and was told the omly way is online. They made it IMPOSSIBLE to connect online. Servers were down etc

Beware calls from 208 area code they also change their phone number or have several. Pretend to be Microsoft and say your computer is getting ready to have a major problem turn it on and do what he says on computer. According to FCC and Federal Trade Comission they love to also PREY ON ELDERY people! Watch out for 208 Idaho CALLS!!!!!!

Also person who called was a Asian or Oriental or speaking with non-American accent!!!!! PLEASE BEWARE 208 AREA CODES 415 ALSO THEY ARE CRAWLING OUT OF THE WOOD WORK 415-946-5707!!!!!!!! SCAMMING

I have had several of these kind of calls saying my desk top has a virus and they can go through the back door and fix it and monitor my computer for $100 a month and assured me my computer would never have a virus again downside at the time of the call i was having all kinds of trouble with my computer. Fortunately i didn't have the money so i couldn't pay them. Very persistent and got mad at me for it i hung up on him and blocked the number then had tho change my number. They sure cause a lot of headaches and a lot of trouble

Thank you for the warning and advice, please keep doing it.

GREAT ARTICLE, TOO BAD ON LINE AND NOT IN NEWSPAPERS OR ON OTHER MEDIA WHERE OTHERS CAN FIND IT, WE NEED REPORTERS IN OTHER MEDIA TO SHARE THIS FIND OF INFORMATION TO THE PUBLIC. THANK YOU FOR SHARING THIS.

Thanks a lot for that kind of fraud, into those Food Festivals, Wine & Cheese and others. We paid $75.00 each on a Food & Wine Night, where you supposed to eat and taste a different wine and excel food as well... The true... No way, if I want to eat some special food you have to pay. After that someone skimmer my credit card as well. Thanks again for your advise.

I keep getting calls from a latino male pretending to be a microsoft engineer and wanting me to log on my computer and go to this and that web site, i get this call about 2 - 3 times a week the number he is calling from is < 239-944-5574 > he just called me again 2 times today already. they are running a scam for sure.

I attended Monster Jam at Metlife Stadium in the Meadowlands. They have 3rd party vendors, not associated with Metlife stadium selling food, drinks, and merchandise. Buyer beware. I was charged $15 for a snow cone in a souvenir cup. When we got to our seats (4 levels up)my son said it did not taste good. It was colored water over ice. Not even sugar in the syrup for $15. The stadium could do nothing, and the vendor would only give me another scoop of snow cone. I wanted to exchange it for the $15 cotton candy, but they would not allow it.

Is Transunion credit report a real scam?

You can get your free credit reports by going to annualcreditreport.com. You can get free credit reports from annualcreditreport.com because federal law requires Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion  to give you a free copy of your credit report, when you ask,  once every 12 months.

You might see other websites that say they offer “free credit reports.” They are not part of the free annual credit report program required by law. Some sites might sign you up for services that charge your credit card. Some sites use names that look a lot like the official name, but they will take your personal information or try to sell you something.

is this a real scam?

Thanks for the alert... You are providing a most important service to the folk in the US.

there's a free 2 week trial on derma revive or hair growth cream. you just pay shipping. IF YOU DON'T READ THEIR TERMS OF USE YOU WILL BE CHARGED $93.92 ON YOUR CARD. IF YOU DO NOT CANCEL WITHIN 2 WKS THIS IS ALL STATED IN THEIR TERMS. BUT NOTHING IS STATED ON THEIR WEB PAGE. VERY FEW OF US READ THE TERMS OF USE. I CANCELED AND THE NEXT DAY THEY SENT THEIR CREAM. I COMPLAINED TO CREDIT CARD COMPANY AND THEY SENT ME SOMETHING ELSE. WATCH OUT FOR FREE TRIALSL. ESPECIALLY DERMA REVIVE

If you were wrongly charged for a free trial offer, you can report this to the FTC at FTC.gov/complaint. The information you give will go into a database that law enforcement uses for investigations. Learn more about free trial offers in this FTC article.

I am here to be more Informed. I filed a scam report today having to do with a phone call received that was not from the USCIS but they obviously knew I was waiting for a call back from USCIS/DHS asking for access to my computer as a security issue was detected. My wife pick up on the idea it was not from the USCIS.. When I talk to the USCIS (AGENT Hunter #S54827), she advised me to contact a report it to the FTC and gave me the number. I do have an email from the fraudulent caller, names, phone number and an extension and ID, which may not be real. The email claim the be from Homeland Security and tied in with Microsoft. I do have a reference number to my call and claim to the FTC. This puts many things in question, like phone security, computer security, my many accounts and any information on me through phone or computer.

Our US Senators & Representatives should be using their time (which WE pay for) topi a stop to thi fraud instead of spending 30 hours per week soliciting donations for their political parties national committees!

we received this callthe other day that said“Hello, we have been trying to reach you. This call is officially a final notice from the IRS, Internal Revenue Service. The reason of this call is to inform you that IRS is filing a lawsuit against you.”

I have also received phone calls as well

I just received the same call from a 206 area code. Needless to say, I didn't call back. It pays to have an accountant. I can sleep better at night - not to say I'd give these idiots any money if I didn't have one. I'd make them jump through hoops and walk through fire before I gave anyone I didn't know my hard-earned cash!

Received the fake IRS robo-call today in the Atlanta area.

Usually from India with thick accent.

Hello close attion must be used when buying food at local farmer markets when food is exposed to heat and sunlight

Love the idea of a consumer product wary alert system to notify of shoddy, fake, unsafe, not as advertised products to point the FTC in the direction of vendors seeking to profit by violating the principles of FTC rules set up for Consumer Protection, including price gougers.

In the spitit of "see something, say something," and "why just monitor problems without fixing them?" are unique slogans uniquely applicable to governments if it is set up to protect citizens from security risks and consumer product risks.

If government doesn't have a system to know about these problems in the public, it can do neither to reduce that risk. This is not about range of quality stars on goods and services, it is about safety, security, and possible scams, counterfeits, etc.

If the public is to trust government, government must be involved by being on the same side as the consumer rather than being an enabler of consumer problems.
The small single consumer is helpless without such government intervention they are authorized to do! What good is a remote government agency to the public if their function is specious and nebulous?

If only the Fyre Festival participants had read this post

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