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How to Avoid Becoming a Victim of Fraud

Warning Signs

  • Sounds too good to be true.
  • Pressures you to act “right away.”
  • Guarantees success
  • Promises unusually high returns.
  • Requires an upfront investment – even for a “free” prize.
  • Buyers want to overpay you for an item and have you send them the difference.
  • Doesn’t have the look of a real business.
  • Something just doesn’t feel right.

Play It Safe

  • Never click on a link inside an e-mail to visit a Web site.  Type the address into your browser instead.
  • It’s easy for a business to look legitimate online.  If you have any doubts, verify the company with the Better Business Bureau.
  • Only 2% of reported identity theft occurs through the mail.  Report online fraud to the Federal Trade Commission at www.ftc.gov/complaint.
  • Retain your receipts, statements, and packing slips.  Review them for accuracy.
  • Shred confidential documents instead of simply discarding them in the trash. 

Fraud Facts

  • Your bank will never e-mail or call you for your account number
  • Don’t wire money to people you don’t know.
  • Be cautious of work-at-home job offers.
  • Check out the company with the Better Business Bureau.
  • There are no legitimate jobs that involve reshipping items or financial instruments from your home.
  • Foreign lotteries are illegal in the U.S.  You can’t win no matter what they say.
  • Check your monthly bank statements for charges you don’t recognize.
  • Order a copy of your credit report from each of the three national credit bureaus once a year from annualcreditreport.com.

Get Involved

  • It’s never too early to become an informed consumer.  Point out “too good to be true” offers to your kids, and teach them to be skeptical. 
  • Take an active interest in the financial activities of your aging parents.
  • Share information about scams with friends and family.  Use social networking to help keep them safe.