The FTC Continues to Hear from You (Betty Sexton)

Think before you act. Don't believe everything you're told. You've heard it before... there's a reason for that.


Last year 1.3 million complaints were filed with the Federal Trade Commission. More than half of those were fraud complaints.... with Americans reporting that they lost more than $1.7 Billion. The average loss was around $600.


To protect yourself ... think before you act. Don't believe everything you're told... check it out first.


1. Make sure to filter any sweepstakes notices with an eagle eye. If you're instructed to pay upfront fees or taxes -- forget them.


2. If you receive a check for a job you're to perform... don't assume it's good just because it looks legit. Most likely you'll be asked to wire some money somewhere -- don't. You'll learn too late the checks won't clear and you'll be stuck paying your bank ... what you wired to a stranger.


3. Don't believe references to legit companies like Wal-Mart, Publishers Clearing House,and Best Buy. The crooks are using the names of credible companies to gain your trust. Check with those companies first to ensure the offer is a viable one.


4. Don't respond to "Smishing" and "Vishing" scams. Like "Phishing"... a ploy to steal your valuable information... smishing sends a text message to your cell phone or other mobile device.... to get you to respond... crooks want you to text back your credit card number or maybe a user ID.

Vishing is an email message that prompts you to make a phone call... where you're asked to leave private information with a voice response system.


Just remember, the crooks are clever and can create a ruse in no time... playing on current events. All you have to do is look to the scam artists claiming you could see photos of Osama Bin Laden shot in the head ... if you clicked on their site.


Be skeptical and question everything a stranger mails, emails, faxes, texts, or tells you.

If you're just a tad bit suspicious, call me. I'll be happy to look into it for you.

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