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Follow these tips to avoid becoming a fraud victim:

  • Keep in mind that wiring money is like sending cash: once it’s gone, you can’t get it back.
  • Don’t send money to someone you don’t know. If you buy items online, use a payment option that provides protection, like a credit card.
  • Don’t agree to deposit a check from someone you don’t know and then wire money back, no matter how convincing the story. You will be held responsible for the checks you deposit and when a check turns out to be a fake, you must pay back the bank.
  • Don’t respond to messages that ask for your personal or financial information, whether the message comes as an email, a phone call, a text message, or an ad.
  • Don’t play a foreign lottery or provide information to someone who sends you an email saying you won a contest or lottery you never entered in.
  • Read your bills and monthly statements regularly-on paper and online.
  • In the wake of a natural disaster or another crisis, give to established charities rather than ones that seems to have sprung up overnight.
  • Talk to your doctor before buying health product or signing up for medical treatments.
  • Remember there is no such thing as a sure thing. If something sounds too good to be true, it usually is.
  • Know where an offer comes from and who you are dealing with. Try to find a seller’s physical address and a phone number.