Advertisements

These “Safe Consumer” Resolutions Can Prevent Fraud and Save You Money in 2018

Some of the most crucial New Year’s resolutions can help consumers steer clear of potential scams by understanding how they work.

According to Connecticut Better Business Bureau, victims unknowingly provide personal and financial information to swindlers over the internet, in telephone calls and at their front door.

“The keys to protecting ourselves from financial fraud and identity theft are knowing the red flags, and using a healthy dose of skepticism,” according to Connecticut BBB spokesman Howard Schwartz.

“Sidestepping scammers may appear to be a daunting task, however, it is easier than most people think. If we follow a simple few rules, we can protect ourselves from the vast majority of scams and make ourselves more educated consumers”.

Although swindles are constantly evolving, they all involve giving out information to people we don’t know over the telephone, at our front door and on the internet.

One of the most prominent red flags involves any demand for payment through an untraceable method, such as a wire transfer, cashier’s check or gift cards.  

A great deal of fraud involves impostor scams. The swindlers pretend they are calling from your doctor’s office, a financial institution, government agency, the court system or police. They will typically threaten the victim with arrest unless they pay a fake “fee” or “penalty.

Other scams involve a softer touch in which an imposter pretends to represent a charity. Because caller ID can be spoofed, you can never be certain who is on the other end of the telephone line.

Email is another popular tool used by criminals to commit fraud. The email often has the look and feel of a legitimate institution, and encourages recipients to click on a link or open an attachment. Either of those actions can infect a computer with a virus. If you click on a link, it may redirect you to an authentic-looking web page that will ask for enough personal information to allow the scammers to commit identity theft.

Unless you initiate the communication be suspicious of anyone who contacts you asking for personal information.

Connecticut BBB offers tips to help you avoid most scams, and ensure you are dealing with a legitimate business:

Check all terms and conditions – These will help you understand any limits, exclusions or extra fees.

Avoid doing business at your front door – It is better to select a professional, business or charity yourself, rather than respond to a solicitation. In addition, if the individual claims to be with a utility company, phone company or any other type of business, they may carry false identification.

Keep an eye on your credit reports – These may give you an early indication that someone is using your personal information to open lines of credit and obtain loans. You may obtain your reports for free from the government-sanctioned website annualcreditreport.com. You will be asked to provide personal information for authentication purposes. This allows you to keep an eye on your credit reports all year long, by requesting a report from one of the three credit monitoring companies every four months.

Harden your computer security – Update and scan your computer regularly with anti-malware. Download operating system and software updates which are often designed to close security loopholes. Buy a backup drive to preserve your important files, photos and videos in case of a cyber hack or computer failure.

You don’t get something for nothing – This includes cruises, fake inheritances and sweepstakes. There is always a catch.

Look for “https” and a padlock logo – You will find these in your browser address bar. This means the website is taking measures to protect your information.

Start With Trust – Before signing a contract, putting down a deposit or donating to a charity, check them at bbb.org.

Advertisements

The Central Connecticut Roundup is a popular local magazine covering central Connecticut news, Statewide news, National news, local events, commentary, and more.

 

The Roundup currently has over 5,700 subscriptions and a local social media following of over 95,000 readers across multiple social media sites, apps, pages, and groups.

 

The Roundup is also a proud member of WordPress. This affiliation offers readers more news from FOX 61 and CBS Connecticut on The Roundup.

Latest Stories From Roundup Partner : FOX 61

Family and friends gather in Milford to remember New Haven homicide victim

Family and friends gather in Milford to remember New Haven homicide victim

MILFORD— A young man was killed in New Haven this past Tuesday and days later family and friends are sharing the memory of their loved one. 28-year-old Thomas Hart was shot and killed near Congress Avenue, the details surrounding the shooting is still unclear. A vigil was held Friday in Milford to honor his memory, multiple people sharing their fondest moments. Matthew Mantini who is a childhood friend of Hart said, “There is not like one thing you can remember […]

Teen diagnosed with two serious illnesses recovers in time for junior prom

Teen diagnosed with two serious illnesses recovers in time for junior prom

MANSFIELD – Teenage years are not easy and they can feel like the toughest of your life. 17-year old Hunter Dale showed us anything is possible as long as you have the right attitude. “I can still remember when I was trying to get him out of the house to walk down to the mailbox. That was his goal for the day,” said Kate Dale, Hunter’s mother. Hunter’s mother remembered the dark days when her son spent countless months in […]

East Haven car crash, fire causes delays on I-95 North

East Haven car crash, fire causes delays on I-95 North

EAST HAVEN — Emergency crews responding to reports of a motor vehicle accident on I-95 Northbound in East Haven. Firefighters are working to put out a car fire that has closed the right lane between Exits 51 and 53. State police report no injuries in the crash. Units are still on scene investigating. We will bring you more information as it becomes available.

Bodies in submerged Missouri vehicle bring storm toll to 9

Bodies in submerged Missouri vehicle bring storm toll to 9

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The bodies of a man and a woman were discovered Friday in a submerged vehicle near the Mississippi River in Missouri, bringing the death toll to nine from storms that have ravaged the central U.S. this week and threaten major flooding through the holiday weekend. John Reinhardt, 20, and Caitlin Frangel, 19, both of Hazelwood, Missouri, were reported missing May 15. Their bodies were found around 4 a.m. on a flooded rural road that runs along […]

Comments

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.