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Don't Be a Victim

Don't Be a Victim of Internet Crime

  • Be wary if you receive an e-mail telling you you've won a lottery or a contest, especially if you don't remember entering.
  • Don't assume a company you'd like to do business with is legitimate based on the appearance of its website—do your due diligence (i.e., contact the Better Business Bureau).
  • When making online purchases, be wary if the seller only accepts cash or wire transfers.
  • Go directly to a company's official website by typing in the URL instead of clicking on a link from an unsolicited e-mail.
  • Be cautious when asked to provide your personally identifiable information.
  • Don't believe promises of large sums of money in return for your cooperation.
  • Be suspicious when additional fees are requested to complete a transaction.
  • Be leery of requests of investment offers received through unsolicited e-mail.

Don't Become a Victim of a Con Artist

  • Know who you're dealing with. If you haven't heard of the individual or company, do your research (for example, check with the Better Business Bureau).
  • Make sure you fully understand any agreement that you enter into. If the terms are complex, have them reviewed by a competent attorney.
  • Beware of any up-front fees—most legitimate service providers request fees after the work is done. (In the case of financial loans, fees are typically paid after the loan has been approved).
  • If you win a legitimate prize or inherit money, you shouldn't have to pay anything up-front to claim the funds.
  • Don't wire money to someone you don't know. Once your money is wired, it's very difficult for law enforcement to help you recover the funds.
  • Be wary if you're asked to keep the details of any transaction with an individual or business confidential.