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Over 30 million Americans are victims of frauds and scams every single year. The financial losses run into the BILLIONS of dollars.

The sheer number of frauds and scams seem to be never-ending: The IRS Scam. The Grandparent Scam. The Medicare Scam. The Counterfeit Drug Scam. The Lottery/Sweepstakes Scam. Those are just a few that are out there now and new ones pop up every day.

The good news is that you don’t have to concern yourself with being familiar  with each one of these frauds and scams. That’s because no matter what the fraud or scam is, THEY ALL SHARE SEVERAL COMMON THEMES. Just watch for these themes and you’ll be able to identify this threat and protect yourself – before it’s too late!

The scammers still prefer to use phone so your first line of defense is do not answer your phone unless you know who is calling !

Common Themes of Frauds and Scams

Should you be on a call, the first thing is to identify the call as a scam . Remember – the caller is somebody that you do not know and is offering something that you did not ask for!

The scammer will   try to convince you that he/she is legit about the product or service he/she wants to sell you and he/she will make up some phony story about his/her background.

The scammer will now try to negotiate a price . Since the scammer has nothing real to sell, he/she will eventually agree to any cost that you agree to pay.

All during the call the scammer will want to work fast and will likely discourage you from asking questions or taking time to check the offer.  The scammer wants to take advantage of you while you on the phone.

The last thing the scammer will discuss is how he/she wants to be paid. THIS IS THE INFORMATION THE SCAMMER HAS WANTED ALL ALONG! The scammer will ask for your bank account or credit card information and perhaps your SSN . Don’t EVER give out this sort of personal information unless you know exactly who you are talking to and the person has an absolute reason to have it.

Where can I go to get more help?

  1. Montgomery County Police Department at: https://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/pol/index.html
  2. Montgomery County Office of Consumer Protection at: https://montgomerycountymd.gov/OCP/index.html
  3. Montgomery County States Attorney Office at: https://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/sao/index.html