Phone solicitation is a popular annoyance. However, scam artists make big money from unsuspecting people who fall for illegitimate solicitation schemes.
Never assume that a friendly voice belongs to a trustworthy caller.
Never give out your credit card, social security or checking account numbers, as well as any information about yourself, unless you are the initiating party.
Ask the caller to identify themselves and what company they are with.
Never trust an unknown caller who tells you that you have won something but asks you to send money first.
Never make arrangements to wire money or have someone pick up money from your home.
If you feel that there is something unsettling going on, hang up.
Invest in caller ID programs to screen calls from unlisted and out-of-area callers.
Consider putting a privacy management feature on your line to stop unwanted calls from reaching you.
When a legitimate telemarketer calls, you have the right to order the removal of your name and number from their list. Tell them to remove you from the list and never call you again. Make sure they understand what you have ordered. By law, they are required to remove you from the list.
Check all unsolicited offers with your Better Business Bureau.
Keep a file of all your credit card statements, receipts and customer numbers. You may need them so you can verify any false charges made on your card.
If you lose your credit card, call and cancel it immediately. The same is true for ATM cards.
Make sure you tell the operator to put a stop on all transactions made on the card. This will prohibit people from charging any new purchases to the card.
After you have notified the credit card company to remove validation of the card, you need to make sure that you contact a credit bureau. Criminals can open new accounts using the credit card number that exists on your credit record. By contacting these bureaus you can have a fraud stamp on your report to protect you. The numbers are listed at the bottom of this page.
Maintain privacy while conducting business. If you are asked for information that you are uncomfortable giving out, do not provide it.
Make sure you maintain secure interactions on the computer, especially the internet.
Never give out your password to anyone posing as a network administrator of any sort.
Shopping online has grown increasingly popular and much safer in recent years. However, make sure the sites you shop on use the latest encryption technology to secure your user information, credit card numbers and personal information.
If you find your house has been burglarized, do not enter until the police have secured the premises.