Editorial

Avoiding fraud

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Earlier this month a local bank advised its customers of a national telephone phishing scam that alleges involvement with that particular bank. The fraudulent calls asked for personal banking information.

The bank released a statement assuring customers that their information had not been hacked and advising them not to provide this information over the phone.

In today's environment of robo calls and email scams, it's important to be aware of these phishing attempts for personal information. Whether it's alleged banking, credit card or charitable organizations, there are scam artists who seek and misuse information from overly trusting and unsuspecting individuals.

The FBI has a list of tips on its website on how to avoid fraud. To read the full list, visit www.fbi.gov/scams-safety/fraud. Here are a few of the tips from the website:

* Don't buy from an unfamiliar company. Legitimate businesses understand that you want more information about their company and are happy to comply.

* Always ask for and wait until you receive written material about any offer or charity. If you receive brochures about costly investments, ask someone whose financial advice you trust to review them. But, unfortunately, beware -- not everything written down is true.

* Don't pay in advance for services. Pay for services only after they are delivered.

* Never send money or provide personal information such as credit card numbers and expiration dates, bank account numbers, dates of birth or Social Security numbers to unfamiliar companies or unknown persons.

We hope you consider these tips and others to help protect your personal information. It's sad that these scams take place. Nevertheless, we all should be aware that they do, and we all should understand how to avoid becoming a victim.

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