Identifying Frauds, Scams & Con Games
It’s not always easy to spot con artists. They’re intelligent, extremely persuasive, and very aggressive. They invade your privacy by using the telephone, mail, newspapers, and even door to door approaches.
Most people think they’re too smart to fall for a scam, but con artists manipulate people out of billions of dollars every year.
Just remember… if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is!
SUGGESTIONS FOR PROTECTING YOURSELF
- Never give a caller your credit card, phone card, Social Security, or bank account number over the phone. It’s illegal for telemarketers to ask for these numbers to verify a prize or gift.
- Listen carefully to the name of a charity requesting money. Fraudulent charities often use names that sound like a reputable, well-known organization such as the American Cancer Association (instead of the American Cancer Society).
- Ask for a financial report before you donate; a reputable charity will always send you one.
- Investigate before you invest. Never make an investment with a stranger over the phone. Beware of promises that include the terms “get rich quick,” or “a once in a lifetime opportunity.”
BE A SMART CONSUMER
- Look closely at offers that come in the mail. Con artists often use official-looking forms and bold graphics to lure victims. If you receive items in the mail that you didn’t order, you are under no obligation to pay for them – throw them out, return them, or keep them.
- Be suspicious of ads that promise quick cash working from your home. After you’ve paid for the supplies or a how-to book to get started, you often find there’s no market for the product and there’s no way to get your money back.
- Beware of cheap home repair work that would otherwise be expensive, regardless of the reason given. The con artist may just do part of the work, use shoddy materials and untrained workers, or simply take your deposit and never return.
LINKS TO HELPFUL AND RELIABLE WEBSITES:
IF YOU BELIEVE YOU ARE A VICTIM:
- Report all suspected frauds and con games to the Fairview Township Police Department.
- If you suspect fraud, you can also visit the National Fraud Information Center or call them at 800-876-7060, 9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. EST.