Know how to avoid being scammed

Published 11:00 pm Thursday, March 5, 2015

Know who you’re dealing with. Do your own search on the companies you’re going to be dealing with. Using the Internet, search the company name and website. Look to see the ratings and reviews other customers have given the company.

Usually individuals involved in scamming people will ask that money be wired to them. Once money is wired it is almost impossible to cancel the transaction or trace the money that has been sent. If the individuals insist on transactions being kept as a secret from family and friends it is most likely a scam.

Review your monthly statements. When reviewing your monthly statement, if you notice fees or charges you did not give authorization to be added, contact the bank of creditor. Scammers will steal account information and run up charges. Take the time to follow up after reviewing your accounts; creditors are there to assist you.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Scammers often use disasters to take advantage of caring people who are trying to help. Make sure the charity you are donating to is an established charity and not one that has popped up overnight. For donating tips visit

When purchasing prescription meds, make sure prescription meds being ordered are from licensed U.S. pharmacies. Otherwise it is likely you may be ordering expired, mislabeled or fake medicine.

When investing, if it’s too good to be true it probably is a scam. Often scammers will offer you a low risk, high return investment opportunities. Stay away from offers saying act fast, send cash immediately or they guarantee big profits quick.

Do not agree to deposit a check and wire money back. This type of scam is often used to lure in elderly individuals in. The scammer will offer to send you a check for a larger amount and then ask that you deposit the check into your account. Then send the scammer a smaller amount and you keep the difference for all of your trouble. Three weeks later you discover the check they sent you was a fraud and you are out the money you sent to them in return.

Do not give out your personal information. If you receive messages whether by phone or email asking questions about your accounts or questions about your personal information contact your creditor by contact numbers provided on credit or debit cards.

If you think you have been a victim of a scam, report it. File a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission. Visit, where you’ll find out how to minimize your risk of identity theft. Report scams to your state Attorney General. If you get what looks like lottery material from a foreign country through the postal mail, take it to your local postmaster.

– Polk County Sheriff Donald Hill