Frauds and cons have been around for many years; they 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 hard earned money by falling for the seemingly innocent ploys of these con artists. The Crime Prevention Unit offers a program that describes the most common schemes to look out for, and offers steps that individuals can take to avoid being victimized.
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:
Law enforcement officers 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.
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.