The U.S. Postal Service provides guidelines on how to avoid fraud:
- Sounds too good to be true.
- Pressures you to act “right away.”
- Guarantees success.
- Promises unusually high returns.
- Requires an upfront investment –even for a free prize.
- Buyers want to overpay you for an item and have you send them the difference.
- Doesn’t have the look of a real business.
- Something just doesn’t feel right.
Play It Safe
- Never click on a link inside an e-mail to visit a Web site. Type the address into your browser instead.
- If you have any doubts about a company’s legitimacy, verify them with the Better Business Bureau.
- Report online fraud to the Federal Trade Commission at ftc.gov/complaint .
- Retain and review your receipts and statements for accuracy.
- Shred confidential documents instead of discarding them in the trash.
- Your bank will never e-mail or call you for your account number.
- Don’t wire money to people you don’t know.
- Be cautious of work-at-home job offers.
- There are no legitimate jobs that involve reshipping items or financial instruments from your home.
- Foreign lotteries are illegal in the U.S. You can’t win no matter what they say.
- Check your monthly bank statements for charges you don’t recognize.
- Order a copy of your credit report once a year from annualcreditreport.com .