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In honor of the Newtown Victims, President of Contego Services Group, fraud expert, Linda Webb, aka The Fraud Dog shares 26 Acts to help the consumers not be defrauded by the fraudster.

1. Tell your elderly friends to report fraud because 9 out of 10 elderly people do not report it when they are defrauded. So please tell them it is OK and “speak out” to report fraud, says the Fraud Dog.

2. Don’t be defrauded on the internet by fake puppy breeders. Make sure you meet the breeder in person and DON’T wire money to a stranger, because you could lose your money and never get that puppy you saw on the internet says the Fraud Dog.

3. Be careful of the hotel front desk scam when staying at a hotel. This is when a stranger calls your hotel room pretending to be the front desk clerk saying your credit card on file is not working. Don’t give them your credit card number says the Fraud Dog. Afterwards be sure to also call the front desk clerk to report it.

4. If someone is traveling in a vehicle and suddenly stops in front of your vehicle for no apparent reason, you could be a victim of a “swoop and squat”. Take a picture of their driver’s license and an actual photo of everyone in that suspicious vehicle with your cell phone. Then give this information to your insurance company, says the Fraud Dog. You may just stop an organized crime ring and truly make a difference.

5. If you receive a strange email saying your friend has lost his wallet, don’t fall for it, it could be a scam. Have the friend call you first to confirm that they actually lost their wallet says the Fraud Dog.

6. If you know of someone who is bullying someone else, then please speak out and tell someone. Bullying hurts millions of people every day. Every 7 seconds someone is being bullied and you can make a difference says the Fraud Dog.

7. If you hear of someone who is a hacker, be sure to report it to the police. Hacking is illegal and hackers can steal lots of data from innocent people, says the Fraud Dog. Hackers love to brag to others about what they steal from others.

8. Be sure you do not use common passwords like your pets name or your birthday, as hackers hang out in free Wi-Fi areas waiting to steal your information says the Fraud Dog.  Hackers also read your social media to figure out your password so be careful what you post on social media websites.

9. Don’t fall for fake vacation rental property online.  Make sure you are actually talking to the owner by asking them to share a document that has the actual house address listed on it. Also never wire money to someone you do not know. Use a credit card if possible so if you are defrauded you can dispute the charges says the Fraud Dog.

10. When buying a car, be sure to watch out for bait and switch deals, up-sales, and financing up charges because you don’t qualify. Take your time and do your research beforehand, says the Fraud Dog.

11. Watch out for strangers knocking at your door, even if they have a uniform on, as sometimes these strangers look for ways to distract you and steal from your home says the Fraud Dog. Also always keep all your windows and doors locked.

12. Be careful when completing online credit card applications. Phishing scams are where the website looks real, when they are really fake. These fake websites lure you in so the fraudster can get your personal information to commit other acts of identity theft says the Fraud Dog.

13. Be sure when you are leaving a store after buying something, that you take your receipt,  otherwise a complete stranger may use the receipt later for merchandise return fraud, says the Fraud Dog

14. Please tell your children that if they receive a stranger’s text called “Smishing” to please do not respond. It may cause additional charges to their parent’s phone bill. Kids should be advised to never talk to strangers, even through texting says the Fraud Dog.

16. If you know of someone trying to get you to commit a fraud, don’t fall for it. It is always easier if you can convince someone else to assist in the crime. It is not worth losing one’s integrity. A real friend would never ask you to do something wrong, says the Fraud Dog.

17. Always check your receipt after shopping for extra add-on charges like a gift card that may have been “palmed” when you were not looking. This is easy to do and most people don’t check their receipts says the Fraud Dog.

18. Medicare patients please read your “Explanation of Benefits” as there may be extra charges on your medical bills for services you did not receive. If you are unsure contact “Seniors vs. Crime” as they can help you says the Fraud Dog. We must be more proactive if we want to stop Medicare Fraud.

19. If you know of someone who is being forced to work in unsafe work conditions please report it to OSHA, as you may just save a life, says the Fraud Dog.

20. If someone is promising you a quick return on your investment if may be too good to be true. This may be a Ponzi scheme and a form of Affinity Fraud, targeting specific ethnic groups and communities.

21. If someone promises you a job to work from home and you get paid before you start the job, that is too good to be true says the Fraud Dog. The fraudster is just trying to get you to cash a payroll check that will bounce later. They will also convince you that you were overpaid and to return half the money.

22. Nigerian 419 scams are everywhere especially through emails and “Vishing” (robo calling) “lottery scams”. Yes,  people still think they can win the lottery overseas even when they did not buy a lottery ticket says the Fraud Dog.

23. When selling items from on-line classified ads, watch out as the fraudster may be lurking.  These fraudsters  will pay you by check too much money and then asks you to return some of the money. Do yourself a favor and wait for the check to clear the bank, as it may be a “reverse sell scam” and the check will probably bounce.  Oh by the way, they also won’t show up to pick up the item you were selling says the Fraud Dog.

24. When shopping at a grocery store be sure to check the packaging of all the goods you are purchasing. Look for fraudulent labeling, as counterfeit products are everywhere says the Fraud Dog. Be sure also to buy your fish from a reputable fish retailer, as most likely what you thought you were buying may be substituted for something cheaper says the Fraud Dog.

25. Watch out for the dealer who promises you the best price for your gold. Shop around and get a few quotes as you may find that unscrupulous dealer may try to steal your gold right from underneath you says the Fraud Dog.

26. Always remember that your integrity is the most valuable item you possess. Always tell the truth and do the right thing. Most importantly, the best way to stop the fraudster is to always report it. Let’s join together to stop fraud so others won’t be victimized by fraud, as your kind act of reporting fraud may just have saved someone else from being defrauded, says the Fraud Dog.



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