If we were to ask you how much you think a box of trash bags would be, what would you guess? $5? Or if there’s some special feature (i.e. scented, stretch-ability, more capacity, extra rolls etc.)? Maybe $10, right?
Well, for a number of individuals, a majority who are senior citizens, what they thought would be a donation to help the disabled, has resulted in a box of trash bags with an attached invoice for charges ranging from $80 to $1000!
How, you may ask, does this even happen? Well, it all starts with a simple phone call from the American Disabled & Disadvantaged Workers Inc. touting their work in providing jobs and work training for disabled and disadvantaged adults.
Alluding to be a non-profit charity, they’re actually a for-profit telemarketing company racking in the cash by marking up household items such as trash bags, light bulbs and cleaning products.
Unfortunately, individuals who fall for the scam aren’t the only victims. The FTC has been contacted by consumers who never gave consent to an order, but still received the merchandise with a hefty invoice attached. They then were harassed by the company demanding they pay for the unexpected products or else they’d be sent to collections.
Records have shown a number of complaints to the FTC but most have been closed after disputes were settled, although no specific details were provided, reported King 5 News.
Despite efforts to stop companies like American Disabled & Disadvantaged Workers Inc. from victimizing consumers, here are a few tips to help you protect yourself and loved ones from becoming their next target:
- If you receive an unexpected call from a company requesting you buy or donate funds, hang-up the phone and call the company directly to confirm their legitimacy.
- If you would like to donate to a worthy cause, it’s best to find a legitimate charity and donate directly to help avoid the hassle of being duped out of your donation.
- If you are asked to pay or wire money for a purchase, never share you personal or financial information over the phone.
- If you have been a victim or feel you have been targeted by this type of scam, please report it to the FCC.