BOSTON (CBS) - The Federal Trade Commission has some guidelines when dealing with a possible scammer on the phone.
But before we even review their list my advice would be to simply just hang up, or better still, if you don't recognize a number on caller ID let it go to voice mail. Then you can just ignore the call and not have to hang up.
- Resist pressure to make a decision immediately.
- Do not give out your credit card, checking account and Social Security numbers to callers you don't know — even if they ask you to "confirm" this information. That's a trick that is often used not only by callers but in phishing e-mails as well.
- Don't pay for something just because you'll get a "free gift."
- Get all information in writing before you agree to buy.
- Check out a charity before you give money. Ask how much of your donation actually goes to the charity. Ask the caller to send you written information so you can make an informed decision without being pressured into giving immediately. Don't be fooled by names of charities that are similar to legitimate charities.
- Don't send cash by messenger, overnight mail, Western Union, or a wire transfer which is the most popular with thieves. The money will be gone.
- Don't agree to any offer for which you have to pay a "registration", "tax" or "shipping fee" to get a prize or a gift.
- Before you agree to send money Research offers with Massachusetts Consumer Protection Agency or the Attorney General's office.
- If the offer is an investment, check with the state securities regulator to see if the offer was properly registered. And a good policy here is: do not buy stock from someone who calls you.
- Beware of offers to "help" you recover money you have already lost. Callers that say they are law enforcement officers who will help you get your money back "for a fee" are scammers who prey on seniors who have already been scammed once and are about to be scammed again.
If you believe you have been a victim of fraud please take the time to file a complaint with FTC: https://www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov/#crnt&panel1-1 or Call 1-877-FTC-HELP
You can hear Dee Lee's expert financial advice on WBZ NewsRadio 1030 each weekday at 1:55 p.m. and 3:55 p.m.
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