The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of Gas Vouchers

High gas prices have brought the con artists out from underneath the proverbial rock, as scam artists attempt to convince unsuspecting consumers that they have a solution to the pain that they are feeling at the pump.

Products offering consumers a way to run their cars on water have cropped up as well as special “technological” devices, including magnets, which purportedly squeeze out more miles out of every gallon of fuel. The number of people who are falling for these scams is amazing, forcing many state offices of the Attorney General to announce alerts and warnings.

Is every gas voucher offering a scam? That depends. Though it is impossible to verify every claim out there, the following are some guidelines to consider, advice which can help you decide whether to sign up for a particular plan or not:

The Good – Some credit card issuers are encouraging sign ups of new customers by offering a $25 or $50 gas voucher for simply using their card one time. This offer can be good, but only if they don’t charge an annual fee or other fees and you pay off balances every month. As a “rewards card” this type of credit card can bring to you additional benefits resulting in savings on a variety of consumer products and future gasoline purchases. Also, some resorts are enticing guests by offering a gas voucher to cover some of the costs of getting to them. Provided you don’t pay a premium for other services, namely an expensive night or two for a hotel stay, these types of offers can be good too.

The Bad – Some car dealerships are giving out sizable gas vouchers to lure you in. If these vouchers are given in addition to the usual incentives, then I have no problem with them. Unfortunately, many of those “free gasoline for one year” gimmicks will reveal something that you may not know: you forfeit the manufacturer’s rebate or other incentive, likely coming away with something worth less than the regular incentive.

The Ugly – I hardly know where to begin with this one as variations on this scam are rampant. Usually, the appeal is for you to receive a $200 or greater gas voucher in exchange for a “processing fee” of $3.95 or more, monies which is drafted from the consumer’s checking. These scams usually originate with a phone call and are often targeted to senior citizens. Warning: if you give someone your checking account information, be prepared to have it immediately drained down to a zero balance!

With any gas voucher offer, if its sounds too good to be true, then it is a false offer. Err on the side of caution to avoid being taken; you can find other ways to save at the pump, but in most cases a cash voucher for gasoline is just too good to be true!



Source by Matthew Keegan

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