Is this a scam? A “cheap” credit score that costs a lot more

Carolyn Soucy thought she was getting a good deal on a credit score: Just $1 through a company called Experian Credit Monitoring.

But now that she’s seen her final credit card bill, she says she feels scammed.
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12 things you shouldn’t do in 2012

They say 2012 is the year of the apocalypse, and while preventing the end of the world is beyond the power of this consumer advocate, there is one disaster I can definitely help you avoid: The apocalypse of your bank account.

Shady businesses are coming for your money, and they are developing more sophisticated ways of extracting it from your wallet and purse. I know because I spent most of this year researching a book about consumer scams.

Here are 12 things you should never ever do as a consumer if you want to avoid having a scammer or an unscrupulous company clear out your bank account.
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Amazon offers fastest holiday purchase refunds, study says

The returning of gifts is almost as time-honored a tradition as Christmas itself.

Merchants are quick to take your cash, but they sure take their time with a refund — unless you’re doing business with Amazon.com, BestBuy.com, or LLBean.com. They were the three fastest online retailers, according to a new study by StellaService, issuing refunds within about four days.

The slowest? That would be Dell.com, which took two weeks, and Avon.com, which still hasn’t returned Stella’s purchase (naughty, naughty!).
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7 unbelievably good reasons to order Scammed right now

You need to get Scammed now. Otherwise, you could get scammed.

My new book, Scammed: How to Save Your Money and Find Better Service in a World of Schemes, Swindles, and Shady Deals is available online now and arrives in bookstores Dec. 27.

You can get your own copy now on Amazon, Barnes & Noble or iTunes. It’s being offered at an amazing 39 percent off the list price on Amazon and B&N. What a deal!

Here are a few more reason you need to order Scammed today:

It’s the book they don’t want you to read. Corporate America would prefer that you didin’t have the information I reveal in Scammed because it will give you the upper hand in every purchase you make as a consumer. Many shady businesses want to keep you ignorant — and buying their scammy products.

The reviews are really awesome. Critics have called Scammed “eye-opening” and “inspiring.” One reader, who just finished the Kindle version yesterday, said, “you can read chapter after chapter without wanting to put it down.”

I explain why you’re being scammed. Why are we so unhappy with certain businesses, like cable TV companies and wireless carriers? Why do we always seem to be the losers in every transaction? I investigate what’s happening behind the scenes when a company tries to pull a fast one. You’ll be shocked.

I’ll tell you how to avoid it. The most exciting part of Scammed is that I have the space to share my insider tips that will ensure you won’t fall for the scams perpetuated by many businesses. It’s information unethical companies would do anything to prevent you from reading.

I’ll help you be a better consumer. My life’s mission is to make sure you’re never, ever scammed again. And so Scammed is full of never-before published tips on how to stay out of trouble, no matter who you’re doing business with.

I’ll tell you all my secrets. If you’ve ever wanted to know why I became a consumer advocate, you’ll want to get your hands on this book. I tell you about all the times I was scammed, and how it turned me into a crusader for customers. These are extremely personal stories that I won’t be writing about anywhere else.

You’ll be supporting more consumer advocacy. By buying Scammed you’re casting a vote for more consumer journalism. Isn’t that reason enough to order your copy now?

Here’s how to order Scammed on Amazon, Barnes & Noble or iTunes. Remember, it’s being offered at 39 percent off the list price on Amazon and B&N during the holidays.

What’s your problem? My Maytag microwave won’t work

Question: My Maytag microwave oven is five years old, and it has given me problems from the very beginning.
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