Financial fraud is the number one consumer complaint. Some frauds have been around for years, yet people continue to fall victim to them. A healthy dose of skepticism and a bit of caution is sometimes all it takes to protect yourself from these low-tech schemes.

  • Clean up your credit for a fee

  • Advance-fee loans

  • Bank calls/email, there's a problem with your account

  • Promises high financial return investments

  • Attend free symposium to make money quickly

  • Legal way to dispose of mortgage loans and credit card debts

  • Share in a percentage of millions of dollars from overseas bank accounts

  • Advance payment for sweepstake/foreign lottery winnings

  • Work from home for big financial rewards

  • Free travel offer

  • Get rich quick, receive high returns with low risk

  • Invest in the new penny stocks

  • Repair your credit and remove bad debt information from your credit report

  • You have won a prize, send money for shipping/taxes

  • Need your credit card number to straighten out problem with your account

  • Free prize in exchange for purchasing or testing a product

  • Pressured into making a decision about an offer

  • Prize promotions

  • Credit card loss protection

  • Conceal mailing address/phone numbers and evade questions about their operations

  • Check and bond cashing without requesting proper identification

  • Call/e-mail from government asks for personal info to process a rebate

  • Pushing reverse mortgages as a way to pay for purchases

  • Be a mystery shopper



Precautions You Should Take   TOP


  • Stop someone from opening an account in your name/SS by putting a freeze on  it in each of the three credit bureaus (you will have to temporally remove it if you want to have your credit checked)

  • Shred or tear up pre-approved credit card offers, bills, cancelled checks, bank statements, and other documents that contain personal or financial information before putting them in the trash.

  • Don't carry your PIN numbers with you, and never give your PIN to another person.

  • Never give out your credit card number to anyone who calls you.

  • Guard your Social Security number, don't give it out to anyone who has no legal need for it.

  • Don't carry your Social Security card with you.

  • Don't use your mother's maiden name, your birth date, or the last four digits of your Social Security number as a password on credit card or bank accounts.

  • Use a locked mailbox to prevent checks, credit card offers, and other financial information from being stolen.

  • Don't blindly follow friends and family. Just because someone you know invests a certain way doesn't mean that it is right for you.


Identity Theft Prevention & Cautions   TOP


  • Uses fraudulent legal documents to get a power of attorney from seniors by lying, intimidating, or threatening.

  • When using an ATM, make sure nobody can see the numbers you punch in. If somebody is behind you, shield your hand when entering information.

Easy Money You Can Make Is Usually A Scam Or A Gotcha   TOP


  • Playing the lottery is a bad bet. Usually a millions to one chance of winning.

  • Advance-fee to obtain something of personal value in return for a small up-front monetary outlay.

  • Promises you triple-digit returns through access to the investment portfolios of the world's elite banks.

  • High yield certificate of deposit when everything else is low.

  • Someone finds a wallet containing a large amount of money. They will split the money if you show "good faith" by producing money of your own.

  • You've won the lottery, wire money to cover fees and taxes is a classic scam.

  • Promissory notes or high-return debt instruments sold by unlicensed individuals posing as brokers, insurance agents, etc.

  • Promotions of penny stocks.

  • Unauthorized trading of customer accounts.

  • Cold callers operating out of boiler rooms promote commodity futures, precious metals, penny stocks, coins, and travel and vacation properties.

  • Using the name of a fake charity promising a return on their investment through an annuity.

  • Someone posing as credit examiners, police officers or bank employees.

  • Reverse mortgages not insured by the Federal Housing Authority.

  • Offers a free sample just pay for shipping,  The now have your credit card information and can make all sorts charges to your account.

  • Arrange for loan modifications or save you from foreclosure with large, up-front fees.

  • Settle your consumer debts for pennies on the dollar.

  • Get you money from the stimulus fund.

  • Buy a book to get rich or cure debts.

  • Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) sends you a letter warning you that your bank has failed and they needed you to enter your bank account information to make sure they were insured.

Watch Out for these Scams   TOP


  • Offers a distributorship or franchise to market a particular product.

  • People who share similarities, religious or ethnic identity gain your trust and then steal savings.

  • Variable annuities sales people omit disclosure about costly surrender charges and steep sales commissions.

  • Unlicensed individuals, such as independent insurance agents selling securities.

  • Convince you that you need some critical goods or services, then seriously overcharge you.   

  • Selling bogus boxed items containing padded rocks.

  • States a close family member has been seriously injured or is in jail and they need money for medical treatment is a classic scam.

  • Company promises to repair your credit for a fee.

  • Real estate salesperson uses fake ownership papers to properties. The scammer usually advertise the property for sale or lease at below-market prices and then walks away with the deposits.

  • A relative is in another country, had lost his passport and money, and needs you to wire cash immediately. It usually comes in the form a telephone call. It is dubbed, "The Grandma Call'  a straight scam


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