Wednesday, November 10, 2010


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.

- Does not have the look of a real business.

- Something just doesn't feel right.

Playing It Safe

- Never click on a link inside an email to visit a website. 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

- 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 email 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 or your credit report from each of the three national credit bureaus once a year from

Get Involved

- It's never too early to become an informed consumer. Point our "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.


If you've received a suspected fraud through the U.S. Mail, or if the mail was used in the furtherance of a crime that began on the Internet, telephone, or in person, report it to the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.

U.S. Postal Inspection Service
Criminal Investigations Service Center
ATTN: Mail Fraud
222 S. Riverside Plaza, Suite 1250
Chicago, IL 60606-6100
877 876 2455

For more information on recognizing and preventing frauds and scams, please visit