Be aware of the different consumer frauds and scams
Foreign scams often involve a letter or email that claims to be an investment opportunity.
- Telemarketing is the sale of goods or services over the phone.
- Some telemarketers are annoying, but harmless. Others are selling scams.
- Signs of telemarketing scams include claims that you have won a prize, such as sweepstakes,
- Travel packages, magazine subscriptions, or gym memberships.
- Check out the company before you agree to anything.
- Do not share your credit card or banking information with a telemarketer.
Advance fee scams
- These are scams where some kind of service or benefit is offered, but you have to pay before receiving anything.
- In many cases, you end up paying and getting nothing in return.
- This is common with guaranteed loans, debt consolidation, and credit repair services.
- A non -profit credit counsellor will not ask for fees in advance of providing a debt management program.
Debit card fraud
They all involve stealing your money and banking information. Common scams include:
- stealing your card and PIN
- setting up devices to jam your card in ATMs
- “skimming” which means using a device that can find out your banking information through the magnetic strip on your card.
- Fake ATMs that collect your card and PIN information.
Credit card fraud
- Some scams use your stolen credit card to make purchases.
- Some use the card to steal your identity and open more credit under your name.
- Review your credit card statements to make sure that all the purchases are yours.
- If your card is stolen and you report it right away, under law you can only be held responsible for up to $50.
Toll-Free, text Message and international call scams
- These are scams where you are charged a fee for calling or text messaging a number.
- Often TV ads will urge you to call or text for a product or service.
- But it is not always clear that there can be costly charges just for making the call.
- Some phone numbers might seem like they are local, but they are in fact international.
Calling card scams
- These scams target people who often make long-distance calls.
- Many of these scams have large fees up front when you buy the card.
- Or they may charge you for a certain number of minutes, but cut your calls off before you have used your minutes up.
- Buy calling cards only from companies you know and trust.
- Some jobs are advertised as opportunities to make money while you work from home.
- But in many cases, you never get paid for your work.
- Common types of jobs that fall under this scam are envelope stuffing, data entry, assembling crafts, and posting ads and flyers.