Attention Indiana Residents: Avoid Telephone Fraud & Protect Your Identity
The Federal Trade Commission is quick to teach us that anyone can be a potential target to fraud and that the crime “isn’t limited to race, ethnic background, gender, age, education, or income.” Although, it is important to know that certain scams seem to concentrate towards specific groups and can travel through mail, email, or via the telephone. Measures are currently in place in Indiana to help prevent you from becoming a victim of telephone fraud.
SIGN UP FOR INDIANA’S DO NOT CALL LIST
Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill recently announced that residents have until February 21st to register information on the state’s “Do Not Call” list. This step will help avoid calls from telemarketers and potential criminals trying to scam Hoosiers beginning April 1. Placing your number on this list won’t stop all unsolicited calls, but it will stop most and reduce your risk of phone fraud.
In a press release distributed by Attorney General Hill he says, “One of the main reasons the telephone privacy campaign was launched is due to phone scams. The Office of the Indiana Attorney General Consumer Protection Division has had a lot of complaints filed that an unknown number contacted them requesting money and personal information, claiming to be a law enforcement officer or an Internal Revenue Service Agent. Hoosiers have fallen for the scammers and ended up compromising their personal identity.”
HOW PHONE SCAMS LEAD TO FRAUD
Phone scammers can be quick to fool you. They don’t really give you the opportunity to think before you react and before you know it, you have said, “Yes!” Here are several warning flags the Federal Trade Commission has identified to help you spot scams that often come over the telephone. If a caller reaches you and uses these lines, just simply hang up, and file a complaint with the FTC:
- You’ve been specially selected (for this offer).
- You’ll get a free bonus if you buy our product.
- You’ve won one of five valuable prizes.
- You’ve won big money in a foreign lottery.
- This investment is low risk and provides a higher return than you can get anywhere else.
- You have to make up your mind right away.
- You trust me, right?
- You don’t need to check our company with anyone.
- We’ll just put the shipping and handling charges on your credit card.
If you do receive a call from someone you do not know and decide to talk to them, do not ever give out your credit card, checking account, or Social Security numbers.
GET SIGNED UP TODAY AND PROTECT YOURSELF
It is free for Indiana residents to sign up on the “Do Not Call” list. To register by telephone, call 1-888-382-1222 from the phone number that you want to register. To register online, know that you will have to respond to a confirmation email to list your number. Residents may submit landline and wireless numbers, or prepaid numbers used in Indiana.
Indianapolis attorneys Stephen Wagner and Jason Reese don’t want you to become vulnerable to criminals trying to collect your personal information over the phone and our first piece of advice is, “If you don’t know the number, just don’t answer it.” In addition, if someone is trying to scam you over the phone, call 1-800-382-5516 to report it.
In the case that you or a loved one is a victim of fraud, it can be unclear to understand your rights and where to turn to next. Wagner Reese offers a free, no-obligation consultation. Contact us now at 1-888- 710-9377 to schedule an appointment in our Indianapolis or Carmel offices, or use our convenient, confidential contact form.