Fraud and Con Games
Fraud and con games have been around for many years. Perpetrators of fraud constantly change their tactics to deceive individuals who are attracted by what sounds like a good deal.
Every year hundreds of North Carolinians are swindled out of their money by falling for the ploys of con artists. Protect yourself and your money from con-artists by using common sense and by taking a few simple precautions while handling money or bank cards in public:
- Police and bank personnel should never ask you to take money out of your account or ask you to give them your secret ATM code. If they do, tell the bank manager or a police officer you know.
- Never allow anyone to watch while you use your ATM card or code.
- Do not be intimidated by a salesman or allow him to talk you into anything.
- If a deal or money-making plan cannot wait for you to check it out, pass it up.
- Read and understand any contract before you sign it.
- Deal only with local businesses you know.
- Verify door-to-door salesmen with law enforcement or the Better Business Bureau.
- Do not enter a contest or accept free gifts or prizes unless you clearly understand all of your obligations.
- Never pay for something you did not order or do not want. Simply refuse to accept delivery or make payment.
- Buy insurance from someone you know and trust, preferably someone who is local and has an excellent reputation. Buy only what you need and can afford.
- Never give credit card numbers over the telephone unless you initiate the action with a reputable company. In the wrong hands, your credit card number can be used fraudulently against you.
No one is immune to the schemes of the sophisticated con artist. Your best defense is to be suspicious of anyone offering you a great deal and to deal only with local businesses you know well. Always remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
The Securities Division of the N.C. Secretary of State's Office can verify that sellers of securities and their products (i.e. stocks, bonds & mutual funds) are both registered with the state. You may call their toll-free number at 1-800-688-4507.