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Host: Scott LaMar

Smart Talk: Consumer advocates answer your scam questions

Written by Scott LaMar, Smart Talk Host/Executive Producer | Oct 28, 2013 2:16 PM

What to look for on Smart Talk, Tuesday, October 29, 2013:


Scam artists never seem to lack imagination.  Those trying to steal your money or identity always come up with new ideas on how to do it.  It almost makes one wonder what they could do if they used their creativity to help people instead.

Law enforcement agencies always try to keep ahead of the scammers but as soon as one is detected and the public warned, another pops up.

The Pennsylvania Attorney General's office has warned of two recently. 

One seeks to take advantage of the confusion over signing up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act or Obamacare.  There actually are several scams that usually involve a person being contacted with an offer of assistance to sign up for insurance or a sales pitch for low cost insurance. is the website where those looking to purchase insurance should go.  No one will contact you about it beforehand.

The second involves a telephone call saying your name has come up in a criminal investigation and you can pay your fine over the phone.  It is a scam. 

Renowned consumer advocate Mary Bach, Joe Peters-Senior Executive Deputy PA Attorney General in Charge of Communications and WGAL-TV "8 on Your Side" consumer/investigative reporter Brian Roche will appear on Tuesday's Smart Talk to discuss these and other scams and offer some money-saving tips.

To learn more about scams or to report suspected scam visit Or call 1-800-441-2555.

To contact the PA Attorney General's Senior Helpline call 1-866-623-2137.


Mary Bach, Brian Roche, Joe Peters

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  • Radio Smart Talk img 2013-10-29 08:20

    Tom in Carlisle,

    Then there are the infamous “letters from Legos, Nigeria”. The ones that appeal to people’s greed with an opportunity to keep a fair percentage of the proceeds if they help me move my money through the US banks. These “letters” have been around for 40 or more years in paper form. Then the scammers would target professional directories such as energy professionals, etc., where investors were always looking to make quick money. Now they have evolved to email and more sophisticated ways of getting your money. But the scam is still the same…and people still fall for it.

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2013-10-29 08:39

    Ken emails:

    Speaking of bad check scheme.

    I was contacted via email about giving private lessons to a “daughter” who will be entering the USA soon. After many emails back and forth, I was even sent a check (I had it sent to the business where I give lessons). I took the check to my bank and they told me it was bad.

    Even with an email address and an address on the check, nothing could be done. What can be done to get these people.

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2013-10-29 08:39

    Kevin emails:

    Would like your viewpoint on the recently Securities and Exchange Commission approval of “crowdfunding”?

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2013-10-29 08:40

    Lee emails:

    I was listening to your program on scams when I received two email offers to provide loans.

  • Chris img 2013-10-29 08:44

    I live in Dillsburg and was wondering if this would qualify as an example:

    My father-in-law recently got a call on his home phone, from someone claiming to be from "Microsoft" and that his computer "had viruses." Thankfully he called me first, and I told him not to do it. This is apparently a common scam where people are roped in to allowing a remote session on their computer, and then pay $300 for a "technician" to fix their computer.

    They steal your money, then commonly will delete important files on the computer before disappearing. Sneaky!

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2013-10-29 08:55

    Nick in York emails:

    As a former telemarketer, one way I can assure you individuals will solicit large amounts of attention is by entering contests; lotteries, drawings etc. Providing information at kiosks, trade shows, malls etc. is considered prime marketing material and regardless of how adamant an individual may be, when you've been "tagged" as a lead (especially the aforementioned "kiosk lead") it will be virtually impossible to remove your information from a companies database, get on a do not call list etc. In fact, I've personally seen telemarketers be disciplined by management for removing this type of information at the

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