How To Protect Yourself From Ponzi Schemes
Keep these tips in mind to protect yourself from Ponzi schemes:
Be wary of any investment that regularly pays positive returns regardless of what the overall market is doing.
Avoid investments if you dont understand them or cant get complete information about them.
Be alert to account statement errors, which may be a sign of investment fraud.
Be suspicious if you dont receive a payment or have difficulty cashing out.
Dont put your money in investments that promise big returns with little to no risk.
Dont contribute to any investment that isnt registered with the SEC or with state regulators.
Dont get financially involved with any unlicensed investment professional or unregistered firm.
How To Spot A Police Impersonation Scam
Police impersonation scammers often use scare tactics to get people to do what they ask. The scammers will try to build up trust by saying they’re from a police force or another place of authority. Sometimes they’ll tell you you’ll be arrested if you don’t go along with what they’re asking you to do. Or they’ll tell you that by doing what they say, you’ll be helping them catch a criminal. Here’s what these police impersonation scams could look like:
What To Do If You Already Paid A Scammer
Scammers often ask you to pay in ways that make it tough to get your money back. No matter what payment method you used to pay, the sooner you act, the better.
If you paid a scammer with a credit or debit card, you may be able to stop the transaction. Contact your credit card company or bank right away. Tell them what happened, and ask for a chargeback to reverse the charges.
If you paid a scammer with a gift card, prepaid card, or cash reload card, contact the company that issued the card right away. Tell them you paid a scammer with the card, and ask if they can refund your money. The sooner you contact them, the better the chance theyll be able to get your money back.
If you paid a scammer by wiring money through companies like Western Union or MoneyGram, call the company immediately to report the fraud and file a complaint. Call the complaint department:
- MoneyGram at 1-800-MONEYGRAM
- Western Union at 1-800-325-6000
Ask for the wire transfer to be reversed. Its unlikely to happen, but its important to ask.
If you paid a scammer using a money transfer app, contact the company behind the app. If the app is linked to a credit card or debit card, contact your credit card company or bank first.
If you gave a scammer remote access to your computer, update your computers security software. Then run a scan and delete anything it identifies as a problem.
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Protect Yourself From Grant Scams
Remember these tips to avoid being a victim of a grant scam:
Register your phone number with the National Do Not Call Registry. This may reduce the number of telemarketing calls you receive. You can register:
By calling from the phone number you wish to register
Dont give your bank account information to anyone you dont know.
Dont pay any money for a government grant. You can get information about government grants for free at public libraries and online at Grants.gov. Government agencies dont charge processing fees for grants theyve awarded.
Dont believe callers who claim theyre from an official-sounding government agency with news about a grant. Check out the name of the agency online or in the phone bookit may be fake.
Dont assume a phone call is originating from the area code displayed on your caller ID. Some scam artists use technology to disguise their location and make it appear as if theyre calling from Washington, DC.
Protect Yourself From Telephone Scams
Remember these tips to avoid being a victim of a telephone scam:
Register your phone number with the National Do Not Call Registry. You may register online or by calling . If you still receive telemarketing calls after registering, theres a good chance that the calls are scams.
Be wary of callers claiming that youve won a prize or vacation package.
Hang up on suspicious phone calls.
Be cautious of caller ID. Scammers can change the phone number that shows up on your caller ID screen. This is called spoofing.
Dont give in to pressure to take immediate action.
Dont say anything if a caller starts the call asking, Can you hear me? This is a common tactic for scammers to record you saying yes. Scammers record your yes response and use it as proof that you agreed to a purchase or credit card charge.
Dont provide your credit card number, bank account information, or other personal information to a caller.
Dont send money if a caller tells you to wire money or pay with a prepaid debit card.
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Common Frauds & Scams
TheMedicine Hat Police Service continues to receive numerous reports fromcommunity members who have fallen victim to phone scams. Fraudsters will oftenrepresent themselves as police officers or as employees of Revenue Canada andthe calls can either be a real voice or a recording prompting you to press anumber to connect with an agent. Notable recent scams include
Thescammer will pose as a police officer who claims the victims SIN has beencompromised and used in fraudulent activity. The individual called is asked toconfirm their SIN and other personal information. The scammer then tells thevictim that they owe money and must pay in Bitcoin or else the officer willarrest the victim. Victims are instructed to withdraw money from their bankaccount and deposit into a local bitcoin machine or requested to purchasegoogle play cards, scratch the code on the back and provide that to thescammer.
TheMHPS reminds citizens to always be wary of phone calls from anyone claiming youare under investigation, or that your personal information has beencompromised, that there is a warrant for your arrest or that you owe money forsome other purpose, especially from callers who are aggressive in demandingmoney.
As areminder, no police agency or Revenue Canada employee will ever demand you paymoney through bitcoin, Google Play cards or request that you send cash money inthe mail.
- loss of citizenship
Taxpayer or Canada Revenue Agency
Report Fraud And Related Cybercrime Directly To Action Fraud Unless You Are Requesting A Call For Service
What do we mean by Call for Service? It is when: a fraud is being committed, or recently occurred or, where you know the suspect and they reside in Northern Ireland or, where the victim is perceived to be vulnerable or, finally where you believe that it is important to report the incident to police in order that police can secure and preserve evidence, or prevent loss .Action Fraud is the UK’s national fraud and internet crime reporting centre.
They provide a central point of contact for information about fraud and financially motivated internet crime.
If you’ve been scammed, ripped off or conned, there is something you can do about it.
Report fraud to Action Fraud and receive a police crime reference number.
Remember: Action Fraud is not an emergency service – dial 999 if you are in immediate danger.
Report online or call on 0300 123 2040. If it is a Call for Service report it direct to the PSNI. Call 101, or in an emergency 999.
This is what happens to your information when you report it to Action Fraud:
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Report The Scam To Other Organisations
You should also report scams to other organisations. This increases the chance of scammers being caught and stopped.
You should report all types of scams to Action Fraud, the UK’s national reporting centre for fraud.
Action Fraud can get the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau to investigate scams. They’ll also give you a crime reference number, which can be helpful if you need to tell your bank you’ve been scammed. Read our advice on trying to get your money back after a scam.
It’s quickest to report a scam to Action Fraud online, but you can also report the scam by phone.
Telephone: 0300 123 2040
Relay UK – if you can’t hear or speak on the phone, you can type what you want to say: 18001 then 0300 123 2050
You can use Relay UK with an app or a textphone. Theres no extra charge to use it. Find out how to use Relay UK on the Relay UK website.
Monday to Friday, 8am to 8pm
There are other organisations you should report your scam to, depending on what’s happened.
Protect Yourself From Internet Fraud
Take these actions before browsing or shopping for products and services online:
Learn how to spot internet fraud by knowing the warning signs of common fraud schemes. These schemes include phishing or spoofing, data breaches, and malware.
Know your buyer or seller. If you don’t know who you’re buying from or selling to online, do some research.
Update your anti-virus software and anti-spyware programs. Most types of anti-virus software can be set up to make automatic updates. Spyware protection is any program that protects your personal information online from malware. If your operating system does not offer free spyware protection, you can download it from the internet. Or, you can purchase it at your local computer store. But, be aware of ads on the internet offering downloadable spyware protection which could result in the theft of your information. You should only install programs from a trusted source.
Dont give out your personal information to anyone you dont trust. Never provide it in response to an email, a pop-up, or a website you’ve linked to from an email or web page.
Dont keep your computer running all the time. Doing so will make it more prone to spyware and other attacks from hackers and identity thieves.
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The Scammers Might Ask You To Help With A Police Investigation
These scams can often start with someone calling you up, pretending to be the police who are investigating someone at your bank. They’ll sometimes ask you for help to catch the fraudster.
They might tell you that your account is at risk and that you need to move money of your account as soon as possible, so that they can ‘catch the fraudster’. The scammers pretending to be the police might advise you to move your money into a safe account. They’ll often tell you it’s to protect your money. Don’t do it! This is a scam.
Madison Police Warn Against Scam Call Claiming Large Online Purchase
MADISON, Wis. Madison Police are warning citizens to be aware of an ongoing phone scam.
In this scam, the caller claims to be an employee of a large online retailer.
The caller will then tell the victim that there was a large purchase made in the victims name and that they need to provide personal and financial information to cancel the purchase.
Police said the best way to avoid this scam is to be cautious when callers request personal or financial information.
If you believe that you have been scammed, contact the Federal Trade Commission at ReportFraud.ftc.gov.
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How To Report A Scam
If you or someone else is in immediate danger or risk of harm, phone 999 immediately.
You should report fraud, scams and related cybercrime directly to Action Fraud unless you are requesting a call for service from the Police Service of Northern Ireland .
If you report a scam, it gives important information to the authorities that can be used to warn other people.
Report Scam Emails And Online Fraud
Trying to con people using emails or websites is becoming popular. If youve found a website trying to do this, or have been caught up in a scam, heres what to do:
If you got an email, you can contact the service provider that sent you the email, such as Yahoo! or Outlook. Some will often have a Report phishing or Report scam button. The email address can then be closed down. If its a website or youve been caught in a scam, report it to Action Fraud. They have an online reporting tool that is quick and easy to use. You can also report the fraud to companies that are advertising fraudulent services, such as when adverts appear on Google or Bing. Sometimes fraudsters impersonate organisations, such as pretending emails or phone calls are from HMRC. You can contact the companies that are being impersonated as well.
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If You Get A Call From The Police About A Missed Court Appearance Hang Up
While you may be eager to comply with the cops if they call you, doing so could mean you’re serving up your personal information to scammers. According to ABC 8 News, a local affiliate in Virginia, the new con that’s been going on begins when you receive a phone call from someone claiming to be a police officer. The Goochland County Sheriff’s Department in Virginia reports that scammers claim you’ve failed to show up for a court appearance and will have to appear at the sheriff’s office to confirm your signature.
“Please be advised that the Sheriff’s Office will never call about an issue of this nature,” the actual Goochland County Sheriff’s Department says.
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Recognizing And Preventing Phone Scams
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Don’t Be A Victim Of Phone Fraud
These tips will help keep you from getting victimized by telemarketing scammers:
- Don’t believe everyone who calls with an exciting promotion or investment opportunity.
- Don’t disclose personal information about your bank accounts, credit cards or address over the telephone.
- Don’t be afraid to hang up.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for documentation to verify a product or investment. But remember, even the unscrupulous have professionally prepared literature, catalogues and invoices.
- Don’t be pressured into making a decision. Any legitimate gift or prize will still be available tomorrow.
- Do take the time to call a friend, relative, banker or a police agency before making a decision to send money.
- Do call the police to report any suspicious phone calls or mailings.
- Do take the opportunity to ask the caller questions about their offer or promotion. No legitimate company will refuse your inquiries.
- Do ask for literature so you can read about the company before making a commitment.
- Do ask the company for references from other customers who live in your area.
What Can You Do If You Get Scammed
If you have recently been scammed, take comfort in knowing that there are multiple resources out there to help. However, scammers come in all shapes and sizes, and reporting them may look different depending on the crime. If youve been scammed over the phone, the process of reporting it will look a bit different than if you have been scammed on a website or by a local scam artist.
Regardless of the details of the crime, you will want to notify your bank immediately if a debit or credit card was used to make the fraudulent purchase. When you call, ask to speak to the fraud department. The fraud representative will ask you several questions about the scam, such as when it took place, how much money you have lost, and if you have noticed any other suspicious transactions that resemble fraud. Many banks will investigate on your behalf and reimburse you if they find the purchase was indeed a scam.
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If you received an email from a sender posing as Public Health Ontario offering you next steps for signing up for a vaccine certificate or asking for your private health information: Do not open it or click on any links.
*A phishing scam is an attempt to deceive you into giving sensitive information to someone posing as an individual or company that you know .
Common Techniques Used By Fraudsters
- Rush deals â you are told you have a limited amount of time to take part or you will lose the deal, pressuring you to act now.
- Scare tactics â you are told a negative result or penalty will be imposed if you dont act quickly.
- Secrecy â you are told the deal is extremely special and you are one of the select few invited to participate but dont tell anyone.
- Payment â is requested in the form of gift cards, prepaid credit cards, wire transfers or crypto currency such as Bitcoin.
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