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Help Me Help You

One primary goal of this blog is to provide you information that will save you, the consumer, from scams. Two stories have run in the past two days that are must-reads. What others have you seen? Please post them in the comments area. I'll put this item in the categories box on the side of the blog so that you can add to it over time and will post similar call-outs as a reminder regularly.

Online Orders Never Arrived From Amazon Seller (Seattle Times)

Double Trouble: Beware Phone Bills That Charge You Twice (Washington Post)

By  |  January 9, 2006; 12:51 PM ET Help Me Help You
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Posted by: L A Andrews | January 9, 2006 4:05 PM

What's really interesting about a lot of these Amazon sellers, and it happens a lot, is that a seller will have 97% negative feedback, with comments like "never received, doesn't respond to e-mails", but then get the occasional 5-star rating boasting the great communication and fast shipping. Several poor experiences over the past several months have led me to believe sellers are inflating their ratings by selling to themselves. It's not like eBay where each user needs to be (somewhat) verified through a registration process. Buyers on Amazon could be anyone.

Posted by: Anon | January 9, 2006 4:57 PM

I ordered four items from on 12/12, three from Amazon directly and one from a Marketplace seller. All had delivery estimates the last date of which was Dec. 23rd or earlier.

I only received one item in time for Christmas.

I'm never ordering anything from them again. Period.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 10, 2006 4:30 PM

If you have a bad experience with a seller, post it on the Rip-off Report ( That way, others can benefit from your experience, and you get to vent.

Posted by: jake3_14 | January 10, 2006 5:51 PM

Some Marketplace sellers are reputable. I've purchased and sold items via Marketplace and have had good success both ways. I don't inflate my ratings by selling to myself and I carefully study the lifetime ratings of the sellers I plan to buy from. I'm willing to pay a little extra when the seller has a 96% *lifetime* rating over a cheaper competitor's 84% lifetime rating. The more ratings the better, too.

Posted by: Caveat Emptor | January 12, 2006 1:02 PM

Chevy Chase raised ATM fees again. Now, a non-Chevy Chase customer has to pay $2.25 for the opportunity to use a Chevy Chase ATM.

Posted by: atm outrage | January 16, 2006 10:35 AM

Beware of fraudulent calls from a person claiming to be offering life insurance to GMAC mortgage customers. One fake solicitor called me today and offered insurance, then tried to get me to tell her my personal information over the phone. I reported the call to GMAC who confirmed that they had not called me today.

The caller was a woman with a strong accent, and practically impossible to understand. She hung up immediately when I told her I wasn't interested in sharing my info with her.

I dialed *69 to get the phone number and it was 847-463-5737.

Posted by: GMAC customer | January 19, 2006 12:18 PM

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Posted by: Peter | March 2, 2006 7:39 PM

Monday 5/22 I recieved a very bothersome call from my bank to tell me that my visa debit card info had been stolen and my account was now on the negative in a big way. I have done my own research and found that the people that did this were two black females 20 - 30 years of age and this crime was commited over 300 miles from my home where i had my card. These low lives stole my card number and as we know of at least one other lady's card number and creates their own cards with fake names. Both of those these crooks used these fake cards at JCPENNEYS IN MORROW,GA. PLEASE BE AWARE OF ANY SUSPICIOUS ACTIVITY. both myself and the other victim live in one state and the crimes were commited in another.

Posted by: jessica | May 24, 2006 4:41 PM

I just finished a trip overseas. Some places asked me if I wanted to pay in dollars. I thought that sounded nice so I did, but when I got home I wasn't so sure if this was a good idea. I looked it up it turns out I paid Dynamic Currency Conversion. Some places said this is a scam, but this site says it isn't:

What is right?!

Posted by: confused | July 14, 2006 6:38 PM

I am on the do not call list, however, I keep getting phone calls from 847-463-5737. When I called the number - it is charter marketing services. Someone else reported above that this number tried to sell her some insurance from GMAC. Funny thing, that is my mortgage company also. Thanks for the tip.

Posted by: Robin | August 9, 2006 9:27 PM

I recieved two calls from chartered marketing....i did not answer either time. It is the exact same number others have stated above. I came online tonight to try and figure out who this was....also my mortgage company is GMAC. and i am also on the do not call list. Next time they call i am going to answer...and get some info from what they say...of course dont give out info about yourself.

Posted by: jw | August 21, 2006 10:08 PM

About a year ago I signed up for a new checking account online with Bank of America. A few weeks later I received my debit card but it was a GMAC bank of America debit card. I learned that this card could be used to save up for $ towards a GMAC purchase. Last week my card was not working in spite of a large balance in my checking account. I had to find out from the bank that all the GMAC debit cards were closed out because they were not offering that promotion anymore. I think this is a rip-off I was never able to use the $ I had saved up towards a car and I was left in the dark with no debit card that worked. Thank goodnes I was not out of town when they decided to implement this action....

Posted by: Mary Farina | September 14, 2006 10:58 AM

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