News Release Archive

Since a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush, consumers are
warned against paying money to strangers in advance for goods or
services which may never materialize.

This warning comes from the Department of Business and Consumer
Services and refers to arrangements such as advance fee loan
companies, the delivery of a prize once a sizeable shipping
charge is paid, employment services agencies which request a fee
in advance, and fees for sponsorship or advertising for goods or
publications not yet produced.

"Scam experts are becoming more and more creative in their
schemes to separate consumers and businesses from their money,"
said Barbara Jones Gordon, director of Consumer and Commercial
Relations, Department of Business and Consumer Services. "If you
are approached looking for donations, sponsorship money or
advance fees for service, make sure you know what you are getting

Over the past few months, several Nova Scotians have lost out in
what seemed like the deal of a lifetime. Some were guaranteed
loans for an upfront fee. Yet others were promised employment
once an advance placement fee was paid. The results, if any,
usually fell far short of expectations. The request for an
advance fee is a warning signal that the business deal may not be
legitimate. Individuals should also question solicitations from
unknown charities, for projects which are still in the planning
stages or those which advocate the production and delivery or
goods or services at a future date.

"What we're promoting is a healthy skepticism," said Ms. Jones
Gordon. "There are good deals and there are bad deals. We suggest
doing some research to distinguish between the two."

The Department of Business and Consumer Services recommends that
consumers and businesses check with its Consumer and Commercial
Relations division or the Better Business Bureau before entering
questionable arrangements.


Contact: Louise MacDonald      902-424-0394

         Barbara Jones Gordon  902-424-5079

trp                    July 15, 1996 - 4:30 p.m.