The smarter consumer: The 10 worst scams in America

We live in a world of schemes, swindles and shady deals. I know. I’ve been navigating its dark waters most of my career. The average consumer is slammed with fraudulent offers every day, from “You may already be a winner” sweepstakes to impostors trying to steal your hard-earned cash.

It’s easy to fall for these scams, despite the fact that most of us know better. Or should know better.

You probably realize, for example, that there’s no such thing as a “free” product, that if an offer looks too good to be true, it usually is, and to always, always, shop around.

“But this one will be different,” you say to yourself before wiring money to Nigeria.

No, it won’t.
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30 worst cities for traffic in America

traffic2Which American city has the worst traffic? If you said New York or Los Angeles, guess again. A new survey by TomTom, which is based on the traffic data of millions of GPS users, finds Seattle has the highest percentage of congested roadways.

The results come from TomTom’s speed profiles, an historical speed database from TomTom map business unit Tele Atlas. The profiles aggregate the actual speeds that millions of anonymous, GPS-enabled drivers have traveled over the last two years.

Cities were ranked as most to least congested according to how fast cars could travel on the street network. A city’s traffic was defined as congested if drivers could travel at only 70 percent or less of the posted speed limit, meaning on average an hour long commute included 20 minutes or more of significant delays.
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And the award for America’s worst hotel goes to …

carterIt’s too close to call. A review of several “worst of” lists suggests there’s a high concentration of awful hotels in the New York area, with one or two standouts outside of Gotham. The bad properties are also likely to be owned by one chain.

But what am I waiting for? Let’s name names.
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