Ways to Avoid Fraud

On October 7, 2014, in Uncategorized, by John Enger
Scam artists around the world defraud hundreds of people each minute. They use every means possible, mainly phone, email, postal mail, and the internet to trick you into sending money or giving out personal information. Know Who You're Dealing With   Try to find a seller’s physical address (not a P.O. Box) and phone number. Dealing with internet phone services and web-based technologies, it’s tough to tell where someone is calling from. Do an online search of a company’s name and website, and look for reviews. Be Aware That Wiring Money is Like Sending Cash   Con artists often insist that people wire money, especially overseas, because it’s nearly impossible to reverse the transaction or trace the money. Read Your Monthly Statements Scammers steal account information and then run up charges or commit crimes in your name. Dishonest merchants bill you for monthly “membership fees” and other goods or services without your authorization. If you see charges you don’t recognize or didn’t authorize, contact your bank, card issuer, or other creditor immediately. Talk to Your Doctor Before You Buy a Health Product or Treatment   Demand to see research that supports a product’s claims — and possible risks or side effects. In addition, buy prescription drugs only from licensed U.S. pharmacies. There's no Sure Thing in Investing   If someone contacts you with low-risk, high-return investment opportunities, be very suspicious. When you hear pitches that insist you act now, that guarantee big profits, that promise little or no financial risk, that demand you send cash immediately, it’s time to walk away or hang up the phone. Things You Should Not Do Don’t Send Money to Someone You Don’t Know or to an Online Seller You’ve Never Heard of   Only do business with sites you know and trust. If you buy items through an online auction, consider using a payment option that provides protection, like a credit card. If you think you’ve found a good deal, but you aren’t familiar with the company, check it out. Never Pay Fees First for the Promise of a Big pay-off later   Whether it’s for a loan, a job, a grant or a so-called prize, chances are the ‘deal’ is a scam. Don’t Agree to Deposit a Check and Wire Money Back   By law, banks have to make funds from deposited checks available within days, but uncovering a fake check can take weeks. You’re responsible for the checks you deposit. If a check turns out to be a fake, you’re responsible for paying back the bank. No matter how convincing the story, someone who overpays with a check is almost certainly a scam artist. Never Reply to Messages Seeking Personal or Financial Information   It doesn't matter whether the message comes as an email, a phone call, a text message or an ad. Don’t click on links or call phone numbers included in the message. It’s called phishing. How to Secure Your Smartphone and its Data   For many of us, our smartphone is such an intrinsic part of our life that the idea of losing it or having it stolen is extremely painful. Our smartphone has become so important that we rely on it not just for communications (voice, text and email) but for internet access, banking, news, and various forms of entertainment. Below are Some tips to Protect Yourself, Your Device, and the data it Contains
  • • Never leave your phone unattended in a public place or visible in an unattended car. Lock it up in the glove compartment or trunk.
  • • Write down the device’s make, model number, serial number and unique device identification number (either the International Mobile Equipment Identifier (IMEI) or the Mobile Equipment Identifier (MEID) number). This information will be vital if you need to file a police report.
  • • Review your warranty agreement to see what will happen if your phone is stolen or lost. If the policy is unsatisfactory, consider buying device insurance.
  • • Establish a password to restrict access. If your phone was stolen or you simply lost it, the password will help protect you from unwanted usage charges and data theft.
  • • Install and maintain anti-theft software. There are a number of apps that can locate the device from any computer; lock the device to restrict access; wipe data; and make the device emit a loud sound to help the police locate it.
  • • Make your lock screen display some contact information such as an e-mail address or alternative phone number, so that the phone can be returned to you if found. Never include your home address.
What to Do if Your Device Is Stolen or Lost
  • • Try to locate it by calling it or by using the anti-theft software’s GPS locator. Even if you may have only lost the device, remotely lock it to be safe.
  • • If you have anti-theft software on your device, use it to lock the phone, wipe sensitive information, and/or activate the alarm.
  • • Immediately report the theft or loss to your carrier. You will be responsible for any charges incurred up to when you report the stolen or lost device. If you provide your carrier with the IMEI or MEID number, your carrier may be able to disable your device and block access to the information it carries.
  • • If your device was stolen, report the theft to the police, including the make and model, serial and IMEI or MEID number.
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