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Fraud detection measures

Updated December 23, 2009

Fraud detection

  • Be suspicious of any offer that seems too good to be true.
  • Check offers and schemes with available sources like the Better Business Bureau, Office of Consumer Affairs, the Cerritos Sheriffís Station/Community Safety Center, your bank manager, state licensing bureaus, etc.
  • Donít let anyone pressure you. Take your time and think. Sleep on it. Talk it over with your friends and family.
  • Get offers in writing, read them before signing and have your attorney review them.
  • Pay by check, not cash.
  • If you are a victim of fraud, call the Cerritos deputies for help at (562) 860-0044.

Beware of confidence games

Some of the classic confidence games are described below:

  • The Pigeon Drop involves someone pretending to have found money and asking you put up cash.
  • The Bank Examiner fraud involves being asked to withdraw cash to help catch a bank employee whoís supposedly stealing.
  • Door-to-Door Sales frauds, including hearing aid sales.
  • The Williamson Gang fraud, in which people offer to oil your driveway, fix your roof, paint, etc.
  • Charity frauds in which the person collecting the money is keeping it.
  • Health and self-improvement frauds, in which a medical miracle is offered.
  • Loan Findersí Fee frauds, in which a low interest loan is promised in return for a sizable advance cash fee.
  • Money and Investment frauds, in which the opportunity to buy or sell gold, silver, commodities or other assets is offered with incredible profits, including a chance to "pyramid" your money.
  • Mail frauds, missing heir and contest winner frauds.
  • Be suspicious of any unusual offers in person, by mail, in ads or door-to-door. Check them out very carefully.

Protecting credit cards

  • Donít carry credit cards you wonít be using.
  • If you are carrying credit cards, keep them with you. Do not leave them in your car.
  • Cut unwanted credit cards in half, discarding each part in separate trash collections.
  • Check your credit card statements monthly for unknown or unauthorized purchases.
  • Report stolen or missing cards immediately.

Guard against bad checks

  • If you receive a check from a stranger or someone barely known, ask for identification and write down the checkwriterís driverís license number. Verify that the date is current, the amount is correct, and the signature matches the one on the driverís license.
  • Avoid checks that donít have an imprinted name, address, telephone number, and bank account number.
  • Donít leave your own blank checks or deposit slips lying around.

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