Ask Annie!

By Annie Peace on December 23, 2014

Q: Please give us tips for avoiding scams? 

 Unfortunately, this is a timely request. This time of year there is an increase in the number of scams. There are warning signs to these scams. If you hear these or similar lines, be alert that it is likely a scam:

  • “You must act now, or the offer won’t be good.”
  • “We will send you a check, and you just deposit it.”
  • “You’ve won a free gift, vacation, or prize, but you have to pay for postage and handling or other charges.”
  • “You can’t afford to miss this high-profit, no-risk offer.”

Some tips for avoiding telemarketing fraud:

  • Don’t buy from an unfamiliar company. Legitimate businesses understand that you want more information about their company and are happy to comply.
  • Always ask for and wait until you receive written material about any offer or charity. If you get brochures about costly investments, ask someone whose financial advice you trust to review them.
  • You can always check out unfamiliar companies with the Better Business Bureau or the state attorney general. Unfortunately, not all bad businesses can be identified through these organizations.
  • Before you give money to a charity or make an investment, find out what percentage of the money is paid in commissions and what percentage actually goes to the charity or investment.

I hope these tips keep you safe this holiday season.  If you have further questions or concerns on this topic please feel free to contact my office. Thanks for an another great question and please keep them coming. Happy Holidays!