Fraud Red Flags

The following may signal a scam:

  • A letter indicating you are a “winner” when you didn’t enter a contest
  • Unexpected credit cards or account statements, or collection calls or letters about purchases you didn’t make
  • Denials of credit for no apparent reason, or significant, unexplained changes in your credit score
  • Requests for money to be wired to an unknown third party by a new “friend” or to a country other than where the requestor is located
  • An urgent or outrageous reason for needing money — for example, “I need money to get my oil tanker through customs”
  • Requests for personal information in a situation that usually wouldn’t require this disclosure
  • Requests for cash-only donations, or unfamiliar charities that spring up after a natural disaster
  • Notification of an inheritance from an unknown relative
  • A request to pay money in order to get money, or a required upfront payment of fees or maintenance costs
  • A check made out for more than you were expecting, especially if the payer then asked you to wire back a portion of the proceeds
  • Telephone calls from government agencies requesting a payment
  • Items that sell online for far below their suggested retail price
  • High pay for performing simple tasks from home
  • An email containing spelling errors, bad grammar or a link that appears unrelated to the sender

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