Avoiding Fraud and Scams

Avoiding Fraud and Scams

Con artists are not always easy to spot. Smart, extremely persuasive, and aggressive, they invade your home through the telephone and the mail, advertise in reputable newspapers and magazines, and come to your door. Most people think they're too smart to fall for a scam. But con artists rob all kinds of people – from investment counselors and doctors to teenagers and elderly widows – of billions every year. It's up to you to say no. Use common sense and learn about old and new scams.

Quick Tips

  1. Don’t let greed overcome your common sense.
  2. Be wary of … High-pressure sales; Demands for ‘cash only’; Pressure for quick decisions; Secret deals; No-Risk, high-yield investments.
  3. Get a second opinion from someone you trust.
  4. Remember: If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is!

Dialing for Your Dollars
  1. If a caller asks for your credit card number to verify a free vacation or other gift, hang up. Your number may be used to charge purchases by phone.
  2. Make sure you know the charges before calling a 900 number. Most 800 numbers are free – 900 numbers aren’t.
  3. Be very suspicious if you receive a collect call from someone who says he’s a law-enforcement officer with emergency information about a family member, requesting your phone card number to charge the call. Other variations of this scam include a telephone company investigator checking a system failure, or an FCC official investigating a complaint.
  4. Ask for a financial reports if a caller requests a charitable donation. Reputable charities will always send this information if you ask.

Never make an investment with a stranger over the phone.