Americans report losses of more than a billion dollars a year to international scam artists, according to the Federal Trade Commission, the nation’s consumer protection agency. Con artists can reach out across the globe to victimize people using the phone, email, postal mail, and the Internet, tricking them into sending their cash or revealing their personal information.
The FTC has tips for avoiding these scams. For example, with VoIP and other internet-based telephone services, it’s often hard to tell who is contacting you and where they are calling from. However, there are steps you can take to check out the offers you may receive, and the companies behind them.
To learn more, go to Putting a Lid on International Scams: 10 Tips for Being a Canny Consumer, at http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/consumer/general/gen22.shtm.
The Federal Trade Commission works for consumers to prevent fraudulent, deceptive, and unfair business practices and to provide information to help spot, stop, and avoid them. To file a complaint in English or Spanish, visit the FTC’s online Complaint Assistant or call 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357). The FTC enters complaints into Consumer Sentinel, a secure, online database available to more than 1,800 civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad. The FTC’s Web site provides free information on a variety of consumer topics.
(FYI intl fraud)