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Become a smarter consumer and protect yourself

Published 12:57pm Friday, January 25, 2013

If these deviants would spend as much time trying to earn a living as they do scamming the rest of us, the world would be a much better place.

Here are a few basic steps to protect your identity, bank account and financial security.

• Never share your Social Security Number, bank account or credit card information with someone you don’t know that calls or emails you.

• Set up a security code with your bank and credit card providers to further protect your identity.

• Read all contracts and paperwork BEFORE you sign it.  Make sure you understand what you’re signing.  If you don’t know, don’t sign.

• Never pay money to get a loan or win a lottery or sweepstakes.  If you are asked for money up front this should be a huge red flag.  Just say no.

• Letters or emails that ask you to help transfer money into your bank account or wire money out of the country are scams.  Don’t respond to these requests.

• If you receive a check in the mail telling you that you have won an unexpected prize don’t cash it!  The check is probably fake and you will be out the money once you cash it.

This year vow to be a smarter consumer and stay informed.  The North Carolina Department of Justice has news, alerts and tips on protecting your identity.   To find out more visit them on the web at www.ncdoj.gov/News-and-Alerts

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