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Fraud victims abound

Nearly 1 in 5 Americans say they have been the victim of a major consumer fraud or swindle at some point in their lives.

And 3 out of 4 people report having had a "bad buying experience" in the past year, according to a recent poll conducted for American Association for Retired People.

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Of the 74 percent of Americans who reported at least one bad experience when buying a product or service last year, most said their complaint involved defective products. One-third said that services or items were not delivered when promised.

According to the survey, when they feel they have been wronged, a majority of consumers take action.

Asked about their most recent bad experience, 60 percent of the 1,504 adults surveyed said they took some type of action.

Of those, 30 percent complained to the salesperson, manager, or owner of the company who sold the product or service, 12 percent asked for a refund, and 4 percent stopped buying from the company.

Another 28 percent of those who claimed to have been victimized said they did nothing about it.

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