5 Common Ripoffs Everyone Should Avoid

AUGUST 04, 2016
Future Proof, MD

We've all heard of the idiom "pennies on the dollar" - used to describe getting something for much cheaper than it costs originally. Who doesn't love a great deal?! In fact, I regularly feature money saving bargains on the Future Proof DEALS page. But what about horrible deals? Let's talk about 5 ways to get "dollars on the penny."  
 
1.  Payday Loans - Possibly the most vilified industry in America, pretty much everything horrible that can be said about the payday loan has been said. I'm just going to let John Oliver of HBO's Last Week Tonight make my point here:


 
2.  Rent-to-Own - Rent-to-own often sounds like a great deal - own that shiny washer/dryer combo for one low monthly payment and no credit check. But the contracts have tons of fine print and you may end up paying double or triple what it costs compared to if you had bought outright. For example, would you rather pay $24.99/week for 78 weeks at Rent-A-Center for a refrigerator or $579 one time at Lowe's? I'll let you do the math on that one.
 
3.  Full Service Moving Companies - Have you ever had to move long distances? Did you hired a full service moving company? Was it a nightmare? While I hope you had a good moving experience, it is a fact that many consumers are abused by the moving companies. The typical moving scam works like this:
 
1. You get a low ball offer - usually from an online quote.  You thank your lucky stars for such an amazing deal and pay the deposit.
2. The movers show up and happily load your belongings into their truck, giving you a thumbs-up and an estimated date of delivery.
3. The truck arrives with all your belongings and you find out that instead of owing $1,500 like you were told, they now demand $4,000.  And tell you that if you don't pay up, they'll sell everything in the truck to cover the contract.
 
Don't believe me? There is a whole website dedicated to it. Check out Movingscam.com.  
 
4.  Fantasy Gaming - Fantasy sports has taken over the world. You can't seem to turn on your TV without running into ads by DraftKings or FanDuel. It makes sense, since many TV networks and professional sports teams are investors of either or both companies. While the companies themselves claim that fantasy sports betting is a game of skill. How about this statistic? 91% of the profits are won by 1.3% of the players and 89.3% of players had an overall negative return on investment across 2013 and 2014. Sure those are better odds than winning the lottery - which reminds me, that's another awful way to spend your money.
 
5.  Car Leases - Ok, as rip-offs go, car leases aren't as bad as the other offenders listed above. Then again, there's a good reason financial guru Dave Ramsey calls them "Car Fleeces". Leasing a car is essentially renting a car by the month. E.g. You pay $500/month to lease that BMW 3 series for 3 years. Every once in a while, you may run into a great car lease deal. But majority of the time, it's one of the most expensive ways to drive a car - barring renting one by the day. 
 
Thoughts and comments? Reach out to me at http://futureproofmd.com/.


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