Freehold Township High School wins
Division of Consumer Affairs' High School Consumer Bowl
TRENTON – Homeowners in foreclosure are particularly vulnerable to being scammed. In one risky scenario, someone offers to buy the home and allow the original owner to buy it back over time. Such offers may sound good – but if the owner isn't very careful, it may be impossible to buy back the home. When done with the purpose of defrauding the consumer, what is the name for this type of scam?
The NJ High School Consumer Bowl team from Freehold Township High School had the answer: "The lease-back scam."
Shortly after correctly responding to that question, the Freehold Township High School team became the victor today, in the State Division of Consumer Affairs' 15th annual High School Consumer Bowl competition.
"The students spent countless hours studying consumer protection issues. They came into this even better-prepared than they needed to be," Freehold Township High School teacher and Consumer Bowl team advisor Adam Falk said. "As a business teacher, I can't stress just how practical and valuable this material is for the students' real life. I constantly try to impress upon them the fact that there are scammers and fraud artists out there, seeking ways to victimize people. What they learned as a result of the Consumer Bowl really does empower them to protect themselves."
Of the other two finalists, Irvington High School placed second and Moorestown Friends School came in third. The final competition was held today at the Richard J. Hughes Justice Complex in Trenton.
"I am extremely proud of the students from Freehold Township School, as well as those from Irvington High School and Moorestown Friends School," Attorney General Paula T. Dow said. "New Jersey's next generation of leaders, and the next generation of smart consumers, starts with these young men and women who are well informed about their rights, about spotting frauds and scams, and about using their money most effectively."
A total of 90 schools entered the 2011 Consumer Bowl, which began with countywide competitions in January. The teams from Freehold Township High School, Irvington High School, and Moorestown Friends School succeeded at the county level and at the regional competitions, held in April. Irvington High School also has the distinction of being last year's Consumer Bowl champion.
"The winning team from Freehold Township School and the finalists from Irvington High School and Moorestown Friends School have proven they are among the best-informed consumers of any age group in New Jersey," Thomas R. Calcagni, Acting Director of the State Division of Consumer Affairs, said. "Their mission now is to share what they've learned for the benefit of their families, friends, and future careers. We are committed to empowering New Jersey's consumers, and with the High School Consumer Bowl we're giving these young people a head start that will serve them well for the rest of their lives."
The High School Consumer Bowl is part of the NJ Division of Consumer Affairs' effort to empower New Jersey's consumers with the information needed to protect themselves against fraud, and make the most of their hard-earned money.
The Consumer Bowl uses a game-show format to test students' knowledge of consumer rights and related issues. Topics include Ponzi schemes and investment fraud, the purchase and leasing of new and used vehicles, regulated businesses such as health clubs, consumers' rights when making retail purchases, and general knowledge of the State's consumer protection laws and regulations.
The members of the Freehold Township High School team are:
- Jaqueline Myers, Team Captain
- Nicole Haas
- Casey Moore
- David Domke
- Sam Fitzgerald
The members of the Irvington High School team are:
The members of the Moorestown Friends School team are:
- Cassandre Louis, Team Captain
- Brittany Newby
- Edward RosenHanst
- Jenny Michel
- Chiamaka Udoye
- Amanda Connell, Team Captain
- Spencer Bard
- Trinh Son
- Wyeth Shabel
- Kirsten Mullen
Schools interested in competing in next year's Consumer Bowl competition may contact the State Division of Consumer Affairs at 973-504-6241.
Consumers who believe they have been cheated or scammed by a business, or suspect any other form of consumer abuse, can file a complaint with the State Division of Consumer Affairs by visiting its website, www.NJConsumerAffairs.gov, or by calling 1-800-242-5846 (toll free within New Jersey) or 973-504-6200.