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How to Avoid Scams During These Tough Economic Times

Be suspicious if you:
• If you receive an unsolicited call or an e-mail from out of the blue.
• If someone promises you a lot of money for minimal effort.
• If you receive an email from someone in Eastern Europe or Nigeria.
• If you are required to deposit a check, then send money somewhere through a wire-transfer service.
• If you read a sales pitch such as "You must act now" or if you see a high-pressure "countdown" timer.
• If you see a "Free Trial" offer for a product with a low shipping cost. (always check Terms of Service and Privacy Policies of a website before making a purchase). These type of companies will most likely use your credit card information and bill you $80 a month for products you didn't order and sell your credit card information to other businesses.
• Seeing a product that sounds too good to be true. A free laptop for taking a survey? No way!
• If you see a review site with suspiciously similar offers. Look out for fake ratings and customer testimonials too. Example
• If you have to pay a fee to claim a prize.
• If you see a website that only offers free stuff. It's probably an e-mail collection site for spammers.
• If you are on a suspicious site, it is most likely it won't display their physical address or email and only use a third party call center for their phone number.

Abridged from Reader's Digest - January 2009

Brazil Botanicals was the first company to expose the Acai Berry Diet Pill Scam in an article published back in August 2008 on

NBC's Top 10 Scams of 2008