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Scam watch: 'Free' gas, gold coins, online car dealership

April 22, 2012|By Stuart Pfeifer
  • Assorted gold coins and bars.
Assorted gold coins and bars. (Nick Ut / Associated Press )

Here is a roundup of alleged cons, frauds and schemes to watch out for.

'Free' gas – A federal judge has ordered a company to stop a marketing scheme in which consumers were promised "free gas for life" if they purchased a book online, the Federal Trade Commission said. Consumers who attempted to buy the book ended up being charged a monthly fee for an online magazine and did not receive the promised free gasoline, the FTC said. Under the court order, the Green Millionaire website can no longer offer "free" products and must clearly disclose how much consumers will be charged for its products.

Gold coins – Consumers have one month to apply for refunds from gold-marketing firm Goldline International Inc., the Santa Monica city attorney’s office said in a news release. The company agreed in February to pay $5 million in refunds to customers who were charged excessive fees for gold coins purchased from the Santa Monica company. Under that settlement, customers have until May 22 to file for a refund at gold.smconsumer.org, the city attorney's office said. Under the settlement, the company paid $4.2 million in refunds to specified customers and set aside $800,000 for victims who came forward before May 22.

Online car dealer – Online car shoppers should be leery of a company that claims to be selling cars from an Idaho dealership, the Better Business Bureau said in a news release. Customers of Wartluft Motors said they have been asked to wire money for car purchases, but the cars do not arrive, the BBB said. The company lists cars for sale on its website, giving an Idaho address and telephone number. There is no car lot, the BBB said, and the cars will not be delivered.

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