Your Sheriffs’ Office receives numerous complaints about fraud and scams being perpetrated by criminals who use the internet to commit their crimes. Whether through an email scam, or a fraudulent internet company, these crooks seem to always find new ways to take advantage of decent and hard working citizens. With recent reports in mind, the following information is being provided in the hopes that it will help prevent someone from becoming a victim.
According to FBI reports, credit/debit card fraud, computer fraud, confidence fraud, and financial institutions fraud, round out the top seven categories of complaints referred to law enforcement. Internet fraud and email scams can be expensive, disruptive, and even dangerous. Consider using the following guidelines suggested by the FBI for avoiding Internet fraud or email scams:
• Only purchase merchandise from reputable dealers or establishments.
• Try to obtain a physical address rather than merely a post office box and a phone number; call the seller to see if the number is correct and working.
• Send them an e-mail to see if they have an active e-mail address and be wary of those that utilize free e-mail services where a credit card wasn’t required to open the account.
• Consider not purchasing from sellers who won’t provide you with this type of information.
• Purchase merchandise directly from the individual/ company that holds the trademark, copyright, or patent.
• Beware when responding to e-mail that may not have been sent by a reputable company.
• Be skeptical of individuals representing themselves as Nigerian or foreign government officials asking for your help in placing large sums of money in overseas bank accounts.
• Do not believe the promise of large sums of money for your cooperation.
• Guard your account information carefully. Don’t give out your credit card number(s) online unless the site is a secure and reputable site. Sometimes a tiny icon of a padlock appears to symbolize a higher level of security to transmit data. This icon is not a guarantee of a secure site, but might provide you some assurance.
For more of this type of helpful information consider following our Sheriff’s Office on Facebook and Twitter. There is a link provided for your convenience at www.townssheriff.com.
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