The Hidden Cost of Free

Didn’t your mom teach you if it sounds too good to be true it probably is?  No?  If your mom did not teach you this, haven’t you heard this?  Okay – if you never heard this or if even if you have – DON’T STOP READING NOW!!!!      IF YOU STUMBLED ON THIS BLOG – it wasn’t by accident…(Well that’s a bold assertion isn’t it?)  Okay – “Maybe” it wasn’t by accident….


FREE MONEY – Get rich quick schemes – You won!!! (a lottery you don’t remember entering)

If you get a check in the mail from someone you do not know, do not cash it, RUN – do not walk to the shredder and shred it.  If they say, you deposit it for us and you can keep 10% and send us the rest, guess what?  It will cost you the price of the check plus 10%, plus bounced check fees, plus potential criminal charges. Hidden costs? cost of attorney fees, court costs, fines, and possibly jail time.

If they want you to western union the cash to them except 10% …guess what?  You will western union your money to them.

Maybe they say you won a trip to the Bahamas, a lottery, a prize of some kind and all you have to do is pay them a small fee.  If its free…. it should really be free…. Do not give these people your bank account information….  Do not ever give your personal information out over the telephone to anyone…. (This is the place to lie about your age!!)  Do not give these people your credit card information….  Do not wire these people any money…..  Do not give them your social security number….. Do not give them your bank account information….  HANG UP IF THEY CALL YOU!!!


If they say they are the IRS and you have to pay them ….do your self a favor …go to the local IRS office and give them this money.  Do not give the IRS money over the phone.  The IRS will not call you and ask for money over the phone.


THEY TOLD ME I WOULD GO TO JAIL IF I DID NOT PAY THE IRS.  Ok.  You do not usually go to jail for not paying your taxes, only for not filing your tax returns or for fraudulently filing your tax returns.  Do not give the” IRS” money over the telephone.  The IRS will not call you and ask for money over the telephone.  An owner of a business called me that got scammed on this one.  Do not be afraid to call a lawyer or go to the police if you think you have been scammed. You are not alone.

Tell your friends this stuff because I know you, especially after reading this, would never get scammed – but you might know someone who would.  ( an elderly person?  )  ( a mentally challenged person? )  ( a laborer who simply does not know any better? ) ( A business man who does not know any better? ) Any person can be scammed.  These people are professionals at this.  We all know people that could be taken in.   We have had people come into the office that did just this.  They were facing criminal charges.  The one that commits the crime that can be prosecuted is the one that presents the bad check to the bank.  If you have been taken in by a scam change your bank accounts.  Close your credit cards.  Put an identity theft remark on your credit reports. (This will be the subject of another blog). Protect yourself please.

An easy way to see if a check is good is to call the bank it is written on.  Get your bank to call the bank it is written on before you cash it.  If it’s a postal money order go to the post office and see if it’s a forgery and take the envelope it came in with you and ask the post office if its legitimate.


I talked to one man and he had given $30,000 to the Nigerians on one of those scams.  He said “Well I want my money back.”  I said, “If you go meet them in England, they will kill you for the money on you.”  He persisted.  I said, “Do a will before you go to save your family the expenses they will incur when they kill you.”  I don’t know if he kept on being scammed and I had to be tough on him.  A banker had asked me to call him to stop giving his money away.

What if they tell me there is a fee, some taxes, or custom duties I have to pay or I will go to jail.  Tell them to put it in writing and you will take it to your lawyer and your accountant to review and if your lawyer and accountant both agree you will pay it at that time.

What if they tell me they will sue me.  Tell them please file suit and you will take it to your lawyer to figure out how to handle it.

What if they tell me they will arrest me.  Tell them to send the police.  You are waiting.

They will tell you whatever they think you will believe.

What if they tell me they are a beautiful Russian woman who is in love with you and needs money to come here?  It’s in all likelihood a scam and you are probably pouring out your soul to a man.

What can I do?  Report scams to the FTC.

Who is the FTC?  Federal Trade Commission.

What is the FTC? You can read about them at

Where do I report scams?

Well, this legal advice Is free!!!

Really?  I thought you just said if it sounds too good to be true it probably is?  The operative word is “probably” people.  I am not asking you to give me anything in exchange.  Why?  My job in life is to make your life easier.


Really Legal stuff….. © 11.15.14. Lois Beasley-Carlisle

Okay my disclaimer of the day is the required disclosure for all attorneys.  Alabama.  “No  representation is made that the quality of the legal services to be performed is greater than the quality of legal services performed by other lawyers.” Alabama Rules of Professional Conduct Rule 7.2(e) (2002).
Florida  (b) Internet Presence. All World Wide Web sites and home pages accessed via the Internet that are controlled or sponsored by a lawyer or law firm and that contain information concerning the lawyer’s or law firm’s services:  (1) shall disclose all jurisdictions in which the lawyer or members of the law firm are licensed to practice law; Alabama and Florida.  (2) shall disclose 1 or more bona fide office locations of the lawyer or law firm, in accordance with subdivision (a)(2) of rule 4-7.2; and Lois Beasley-Carlisle, Offices of Carlisle & Carlisle, P.C.,  1621 Pinson St., Tarrant, AL 35217.  (3) are considered to be information provided upon request.  Florida Rules of Professional Conduct Rule 4-7.6(b) (2008).

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