There aren't very many things you can actually get for free.
A free sample at the supermarket might only cost you your time
and attention... but some "free" offers can cost you money.
Be especially careful if someone makes you give our your credit
card number when getting something for "free." You may be
charged a subscription fee if you don't cancel service within a
certain time period.
Always read the fine print and watch out for the following
"FREE HOME INSPECTION"
- Be cautious if somebody calls or
knocks on your door and offers a free inspection to see if you
need house work -- such as gutters repaired, painting or a new
roof. Many times they will ask for a small down payment or a
credit card number and then disappear. And never let them
BEFORE YOU BUY” – Free trial offers are often known as
“Negative Option” purchases, in which you must cancel a product
before the end of a trial period. Sometimes, merchants make it
tough for consumers to take the necessary action, with the hope
of trapping you into expensive purchases.
FREE SEMINAR – Sometimes, legitimate businesses try to
attract new clients by offering a free seminar or a lunch, such
as at a church or at a hotel conference room. But be careful.
These kinds of free seminars also are used to attract
unsuspecting victims for scams. An Oregon cattle breeder that
sold phony tax shelters used free hotel seminars to attract
clients in the 1980s and 1990s, and many of those victims ended
FREE VACATION – Remember, it’s not really “free” if you
must agree to attend tours of real estate or other marketing
events. Also, many “free” vacations have a litany of fees
attached. Always read the fine print before you sign anything,
and be wary about giving out your credit card number.
Remember: if someone takes your credit card number, it's likely
that they intend to charge something to it.
ONLINE TRIAL OFFERS – Before you click a button that says
“I agree” to any online contract, make sure you know what you
are agreeing to. And look out for any pre-checked boxes that
trap you into terms that you don’t like, such as expensive
shipping for a supposedly free product.
LOANS – Some tax preparation businesses say they can get you
your refunds faster. What they’re really offering you is speedy
delivery of your money, in the form of "refund anticipation
loans." But you might end up paying high interest rates
and fees just to get your money a few days sooner.