According to the Federal Trade Commission, scam artists from around the world defraud consumers each year of millions of dollars.
In “10 Ways to Avoid Fraud,” the FTC offers tips to help consumers avoid becoming among those millions of people scammed. Some of the tips include:
The agency urges consumers before sending money to know who they are dealing with and to research companies wanting to do business with them.
The agency states that scam artists often insist on consumers wiring money as part of a scheme. Wiring money is like sending cash. It is “nearly impossible to reverse the transaction or trace the money.”
Scam artists may take personal bank account information and run up charges or commit crimes in your name. Review monthly bank statements for unfamiliar or unauthorized charges.
The FTC suggests consumers remember there’s no sure thing in investing – pitches guaranteeing “big profits” with “little or no financial risk” should raise concern.
Since discovering fake checks can take a long time and consumers can be held responsible for checks they deposit that are fake, the agency urges consumers, no matter how convincing the story not to respond to calls to deposit checks and wire money back.
As always, protect personal and financial information from identity thieves.
For additional tips, see the full article (available at www.consumer.ftc.gov).