The smarter consumer: Beware of these holiday scams

The holidays are high season for scam artists. That’s because consumers like you are at your most vulnerable when you’re seeking gifts for your loved ones. (It’s the most wonderful time of the year, isn’t it?)
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What’s your problem? Sears “oven insurance” didn’t cover my range

Question:I’m having some difficulty getting Sears to honor its protection agreement that they sold to me two months after I purchased a Kenmore range.
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Is this a scam? Maybe I can’t imagine that vacation after all

Wayne is so embarrassed by his decision to pay $2,300 for a travel club that he asked me not to use his full name. I understand his reluctance. He’s a well-educated professional who was just looking for a way to save money when he traveled, and he feels scammed.

The company that took his money is called Imagine That Vacation and I will not link to its site for reasons you’ll understand in a moment.
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The smarter consumer: The three levels of a scam (and how to avoid all of ’em)

How quickly we are to invoke the “S” word when things don’t go our way.

“S” — as in “scam.”
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What’s your problem? A slippery component that destroyed my PC

Question: I recently paid $129 for a Cooler Master HAF 932 computer chassis at my local CompUSA for constructing a custom high-end computer system. Last night I stayed up late to put the computer system together, spending hours mounting the components and wiring them properly for optional functionality and aesthetics. (I’m a certified computer technician.)
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