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Fraud: Protect yourself from scams

By Johns, Flaherty & Collins on Wednesday, March 14th 2012

protect yourself from scams

It has never been easier for criminals to make a buck via consumer fraud—or for us to fall for these scams. Technology, including the Internet and text messages, has made it easy for unscrupulous people to find their victims.

“Most people get hooked into consumer fraud today through email,” said Attorney Cheryl Gill. “It can happen to anyone.”

You may get an offer to make big bucks working at home or to get a free product or service—only to find shipping and handling costs are more than the item itself. Or there may be a “phishing” email scam that appears to come from your bank asking you to “validate your bank account” by emailing or texting your Social Security number or password to it.

Don’t do it. As sophisticated as we might think we are, Gill said, this old adage still applies: “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.”

How do you protect yourself from scams?

You can file a complaint with any of these government agencies or the Better Business Bureau, but prevention is always better. Investigations take time and there is no guarantee you can get your money back. “Even if an agency goes after a company, you may not be able to get your money back because that business may be long gone,” Gill said.

protect yourself from scamsFor more information on consumer fraud law in Wisconsin, contact Cheryl Gill at 608-784-5678.

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