Simple steps to help avoid fraud
The Bellingham Police Department encourages Bellingham residents to evaluate offers carefully and use a healthy dose of skepticism in telephone, mail and online interactions to avoid becoming the victim of fraud.
Using these simple steps can help:
- Wiring money is like sending cash: senders have no protection against loss.
- Don't send money to someone you don’t know.
- Don't respond to messages that ask for your personal or financial information, whether the message comes as an email, phone call, text message or an advertisement.
- Don't play foreign lotteries.
- Don't agree to deposit a check from someone you don’t know and then wire money back, no matter how convincing the story.
- Read your bills and monthly statements regularly - on paper and online.
- In the wake of natural disasters or other crises, give to established charities rather than those seeming to have sprung up overnight.
- Talk to your doctor before buying health products online, and only use licensed U.S. pharmacies.
- Know where an offer comes from and who you are dealing with.
- Remember there is no such thing as a sure thing!
For more information about preventing crime, contact Bellingham Police Crime Prevention Officer Katrin Dearborn at 778-8660.
Published: Jan 10, 2011