By RANDY HOOVER
Glade Safety Chief
For The Vista
Every year the Better Business Bureau and police departments across the country receives thousands of calls and emails from consumers who have been scammed, or people that have dodged scams by being suspicious or careful.
Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it will probably be a scam of some type.
I think the key word when it comes to protecting yourself and your family from scams is CAUTION. Use caution anytime you are buying, selling, trading or dealing with people in a business fashion.
Never pay for anything until you have the item and you have inspected it to your satisfaction. Never give the item you have for sale to someone until you have the cash in hand.
Never pay for work that someone is doing for you until the work is completed and is done to contract specifications or to your satisfaction. Cash in hand means the money order, check, cashier’s check or any other means of payment has cleared the bank and the money is in the bank. Remember, people can counterfeit everything and anything.
Identity Theft is on the rise and if thieves get your personal information, they can drain your bank account, run up charges on your credit cards, open new utility accounts, or get medical treatment on your health insurance. I will try to give you some suggestions on how you can make it harder for people to steal your identity:
• Shred all documents that have your personal information on it before you put it in the trash.
• Do not give out any personal information like credit card, checking account or social security numbers to people you do not know, even if they ask you to “confirm” this information.
• If you think you have provided someone with any of your personal information by mistake, contact your financial institution immediately and review all bank and credit statements to make sure you do not have any fraudulent purchases or withdrawals on your statements.
• Do not fill out forms contained in email messages that ask for personal information.
• Be careful anytime you are filling out a form that is asking for personal information. (I am always amazed at how easy it is to get people to fill out questionnaires that ask for personal information in order to have a chance to win something.)
REMEMBER TO ALWAYS USE GOOD OLD COMMON SENSE IN MAKING ANY DECISIONS AND GIVING OUT ANY INFORMATION!