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Fergus will be back on the John Beattie Show on BBC Radio Scotland on Wednesday just after the 1pm news with some great tips to help organise your money and understand your consumer rights. This week he'll be looking at the best way to spring clean your finances at the beginning of a new tax year. Catch up on previous shows here

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‘Only Fools and………”

I saw this advert for the first time last week. I’ve helped several Moneysucks readers who have unwittingly spent hundreds of pounds on this type of ‘free game’ but its the first time I’ve seen the advert for myself.

And having seen it I understand how easy it is to get sucked in. The voiceover for almost the entire time the ad is on screen highlights the fact that you can win £500 by entering a free competition. All you have to do is answer a very simple question. And it’s deliberately designed with a very simple question so that the difficulty of the question won’t deter people from entering.

But then you read the small print. It’s devastating! the first week of the competition might be ‘free’ but then you’l be automatically charged at the rate of £4.50 per week unless you opt-out. The small print continues “To opt-out of future competition weeks, text stop to 78070 after entering.”

So you get one free shot at the £500 prize. Then you need to remember to opt-out of any further involvement or you’ll be out of pocket.

My advice. Don’t answer the question, don’t get involved.

Stay away from any games like this altogether or the only fool might be you rather than the fool in the question!


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It looks as if the Financial conduct Authority might be about to take action to help so-called 'mortgage prisoners', borrowers who have loans with companies that are no longer trading.
60 Second Tips

In a brand new series listen to and watch Fergus Muirhead here as he explains common money and consumer issues in less than one minute.
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