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Fraud Bait And Switch

In this article we're going to cover one of the most common types of fraud and unfortunately the easiest one to get away with.How many times has this happened to you? You see an ad in the paper for something that's on sale for a ridiculously low price. You rush down to the store to get this item before it's gone and sure enough when you get there, no matter how early it is, the item is gone. And then after you find this out the salesperson says to you something like, "But we have one just as good over here." Turns out the item is 4 times the cost and not as good.

You're angry enough to strangle someone. But ultimately you end up getting the other item because you don't want the trip to be a total waste. This is known as the bait and switch and is one of the most common types of fraud.The reason it is fraud is because the item in the paper never really existed.

Oh, have a great time trying to prove that, because in most cases you can't, but it's fraud just the same. And it goes on everyday. The truth is, most of those too good to be true deals that you see in the paper are most likely going to turn out to be bait and switch items.Probably the most common practitioners of this are car dealerships. Open up the paper and the ads are as large a whole page at times.

And then you'll see a car that normally sells for about $21,000 on sale for an insane price of $17,000. As your eyes are bugging out of your head you grab the paper so you can show the exact car you want to the sales person and rush out of the house like a bat out of hell. Then you get to the dealership, and most likely because of the ad the place is packed and you're waiting an hour for someone to even wait on you, and then finally when you do get a hold of the sales person he regrets to inform you that the car has already been sold. Your jaw sinks to the floor but before you can turn to leave the sales person points to a model that is very similar to the car you wanted. He tells you about all the wonderful features and then you notice the price tag is about $20,000.

While it's less than what the model normally goes for it's still nowhere close to what you were hoping to pay. But, because you don't want the trip to be a total waste, you buy the car. The bait and switch worked like it does so many times.There isn't really a lot you can do about this. You can report it but most likely the dealership will have documents to prove that the original car in the ad was sold.

Your best prevention of this type of fraud is just to be on the look out for it. If you see an ad in the newspaper that appears too good to be true then most likely it is.


Michael Russell
Your Independent guide to Fraud

By: Michael Russell

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