Top 2014 consumer concerns: Car titles, contractor payments and free checks make the list

It might be a new year, but a lot of you are seeing the same old scams.

And you're letting me know about it.

One of them involves paying contractors too much too early.

It happened to Lynne Marion.

Lynne says "I always knew it was Friday. She needed a check or the guys wouldn't be able to finish."

Lynne felt stuck because the contractor wouldn't proceed without getting more money.

And though she wasn't satisfied with the work, she ended up paying $42,000 for what she calls, a mess.

Make sure your contract allows you to pay as the work is done to your satisfaction. Also, save a major payment until the end.

Another big problem I've seen involves buying a used car, but not getting the title.

Charlsie Bader spent thousands on a car for her granddaughter.

But months later, the dealer still didn't have the title.

"Every day I was so excited, I would go to the mail, oh today I'm going to get the plates and registrations. It never came."

Irvin Mayfield had the same issue.

He told me he spent more than $4,000 on a car.

But it turns out the previous owner had a lien on the title and it couldn't transfer into his name.

"Honestly I was shocked," Irvin said.

We helped Charlsie get her title and Irvin get his money back.

But if you're buying a used car, check out the title with the state to make sure there are no liens.

Finally, about those free checks people keep getting in the mail, tear them up!

"I'm sorry but it didn't seem right to me," Michelle Holt told me.

Michelle did the right thing by not depositing this check she received.

Scammers might overpay you for something you're selling online and ask for money back.

Or they may pay you upfront for a job opportunity that involves sending the money.

Either way, their check is no good and you lose.

E-mail me with any consumer issues you have or "like" my LetJoeKnow Facebook page and tell me about them there.

 

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