People ask how they can join my Watchdog Nation consumer rights movement.
I explain it’s not actually a club with membership dues (although there are membership cards). It’s a state of mind.
To join all you need to do is read my twice-a-week Watchdog column and subscribe to five basic principles that can help you live a scam-free life.
My New Year’s gift for you in 2022 is a refresher course right here. I developed these principles based on my own life experiences (read that as failures) and those of my readers. These ideas are common sense, simple and free. I can’t help everyone that seeks The Watchdog’s help, so my goal is to prevent you from having to ask me. Here’s how:
1. Check it out.
Check it out is the single most important advice. If you do your homework before you sign a contract, hire someone or buy something, you dramatically decrease the chance you’ll find yourself in trouble.
Always remember to take advantage of the greatest research tool ever: the Internet search box. Check the reputation of a company or person and look for any obvious problems.
In the search box, type the person’s name, the company’s name or the product you are considering, along with the word scam and then try rip-off, complaints and reviews. An angry customer can alert you to problems.
If you find only a few negative comments, they may be outliers. But if there are dozens, you found what you needed to know. If you don’t have a…