Should you hire a consumer advocate? 3 questions to ask

Lancelee/Shutterstock
Lancelee/Shutterstock
Here’s a familiar come-on: If you have an intractable problem with a business, you can “utilize our years of experience fighting fraud” to get a fast refund.

The catch? If these for-hire consumer advocates succeed, you’ll pay them a commission based on the amount of money they recover. Think of them as personal-injury lawyers “light.”

I’m waiting for the inevitable email from a reader, asking me if contacting one of these professional advocates is a good idea.

The answer: maybe.

This particular company — the actual name is unimportant — navigates some waters that are well-known to readers of this feature. They include government grant scams, foreclosure rescue scams, debt-collector scams and timeshare scams.
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