MAYS LANDING- Here are a few topics to review and questions to ask yourself during INTERNATIONAL FRAUD AWARENESS WEEK as the ACPO Financial Crimes Unit supplies you with information to protect you:
When dealing with incoming calls, do you know who is on the other end of the phone when you answer the call? If it is a solicitor, do you know how to handle the conversation? Do you think twice about providing your personal information to a stranger? Why is this person or solicitor calling you and how did they obtain your phone number? Did you call them for assistance? Are they returning your call about your taxes, mortgage, your personal bank accounts, your electric or energy bills, your cell phone or landline service…? If NOT, you need to think twice before you speak to that stranger on the other end of the line. Scammers will use ”Spoofing” software to hide their phone numbers and make it seem like they’re calling or emailing from a legitimate business or a government office. Eliminate any uncertainty outside of just not answering the call and become familiar with the RED FLAGS.
HOW CAN A SCAM ARTIST OBTAIN YOUR PERSONAL INFORMATION
Are you curious as to how a scam artist can obtain your personal information and what makes you their target?
You should be aware and cautious of what you do online and which websites you visit, which emails you open and even the text messages you respond to.
Scammers do what we refer to as “PHISHING” to obtain your personal information via the internet or through other methods.
Scammers will peak your interest with an email with a link to a false website to visit in the hopes that you will provide them with your personal information. Pay attention to what you are responding to and make sure it is a legitimate website or agency.
What do you do with all that junk mail you receive, like applications for new credit cards or banking, your old account statements, your personal bills and other financial mail pieces? Tossing these items in the trash may not be the best means of discarding your information, but please consider using a personal shredding machine to discard these pieces of mail. Another option is participate in a local shredding event, which is usually an advertised county event. Do not leave your personal information behind for somebody else to claim.
You may or may not have heard of some of the following scams or terms but as you continue to read the information that will be provided to you during this INTERNATIONAL FRAUD AWARENESS WEEK, you will become familiar with these scam terms and what you can do if it happens to YOU:
• COVID-19 SCAM
• UNEMPLOYMENT CLAIMS SCAM
• PSEG OR UTILITY REBATE SCAM
• APPLE, MICROSOFT/MALWARE, INVESTMENT SCAMS
• GRANDPARENT SCAMS
• IRS IMPOSTER SCAMS
• HEALTH CARE SCAMS
• “YOU’VE WON” SCAMS, LOTTERY, SECRET SHOPPER, PUBLISHERS CLEARING HOUSE
• REVERSE MORTGAGE SCAMS
• ROMANCE/ DATING SCAMS
• ELDER FRAUD
• NIGERIAN SCAM
• IDENTITY THEFT, SPOOFING, PHISHING, ROBOCALLS, DO NOT CALL REGISTRY
Anyone with information involving serious crimes is asked to call the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office at 609-909-7800 or go to the Prosecutor’s Office Web site at http://www.acpo.org/tips.html and provide information by filling out the form anonymously on the Submit a Tip page. People can also call Crime Stoppers at 609-652-1234 or 1-800-658-8477(TIPS) or visit the Crime Stoppers Website at http://www.crimestoppersatlantic.com/. Crime Stoppers offers cash rewards for information leading to the arrest and indictment of those who commit crimes in Atlantic County.