10 Ways to Test Your Fraud IQ*

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Police BadgesFraud IQ Quiz (skip to the end for the answers)

  1. True or False?  The top ways identity thieves get your information is through purse snatching, mail theft, “dumpster-diving”, and email/phone “phishing”.
  2. True or False?  You should always carry your Social Security card with you.
  3. True or False?  You have the right to receive a free credit report once a year.
  4. True or False?  Investing in credit card protection is a smart move.
  5. True or False?  Once you have subscribed to the National Do Not Call Registry, you don’t have to worry about telemarketers anymore.
  6. True or False?  Older adults are deliberately targeted for telemarketing fraud.
  7. True or False?  Charities are required by law to spend a certain percentage of their income on the charities’ programs and services.
  8. True or False?  Telephone solicitations on behalf of police or firefighters must give some of the money raised to a city police or fire department.
  9. True or False?  Foreign lotteries are illegal in the United States.
  10. True or False?  The only proven way to protect yourself from telemarketing fraud is to hang up.

Fraud IQ Quiz Answers

  1. TRUE.  Identity thieves steal purses, wallets, checkbooks, credit cards, and other forms of your personal information.  They look for account numbers, “convenience checks”, pre-approved credit card applications, and bank statements in your mail box or while rummaging through your trash.  They will contact you through “phishing” emails or phone calls asking you to verify account information by impersonating your bank or credit card company.
  2. FALSE.  It is a good idea to have nothing in your purse or wallet which contains your Social Security number.  An identity thief can apply for and receive credit and/or government benefits with your Social Security number.
  3. TRUE.  You have the right to receive a free copy of your credit report each year.  Your credit report can have dramatic impact on your financial stability.  Aside from paying your bills on time, the single most important thing you can do to ensure you have a good credit rating is to be aware of the contents of your credit report. To receive a FREE copy of your credit report each year to help you ensure there is no inaccurate information or unusual activity, contact the following: Website www.annualcreditreport.com. It is safe to give your social security number. Telephone 877-322-8228. Mail Annual Credit Report Request Service, P.O. Box 105281, Atlanta, GA.  30348-5281. You can download a copy of the request form www.annualcreditreport.com. Do Not Use freecreditreport.com.
  4. FALSE.  Telemarketers may trick you into thinking you need credit card protection for an annual fee.  However, you are protected by the Fair Credit Billing Act which says as long as you report and verify fraudulent charges within 60-days of the date of your credit card statement, the most you will be held responsible for is $50.00  Review your credit card statements promptly.  (Weekly Online is Best)
  5. FALSE.  Consumers who have subscribed to the National Do Not Call Registry have reported a decrease in solicitation calls.  However, charitable organizations, political organizations, politicians, and companies you have done business with can still call you.  The Do Not Call Registry will not stop crooks from calling you either.  To protect yourself, simply do not talk to strangers.
  6. TRUE.  Unscrupulous telemarketers know many older adults can be manipulated due to many characteristics shared by most victims.  They may be lonely, independent to a fault, do not seek advice from others, and keep the phone calls “our secret”.  They may be overly trusting and willing to believe the telemarketer is telling the truth.  They believe they need more money or would like to have a higher retirement income.  They may have some memory loss or dementia.  They may be timid and afraid of the consequences if they don’t do what the telemarketers tell them to.  The phone is a telemarketer’s weapon, don’t be a target, HANG UP.
  7. FALSE.  It is your responsibility to determine how your donations are used.  Ask charities for a copy of their annual report to verify how much money they spend on the charities’ services and programs.  Contact the Better Business Bureau’s Wise Giving Alliance at www.give.org or contact your local (BBB) to see for yourself.
  8. FALSE.  Most of the money raised on behalf of police organizations, firefighter organizations, fraternal  organizations goes to the telemarketers and the professional fundraisers for whom they work.  Very little, if any of the money goes to community police or fire departments.
  9. TRUE.  Federal law prohibits mailing payments to purchase any ticket, share or chance in any foreign lottery.  It is also illegal to mail a solicitation for a foreign lottery.  The Federal Trade Commission estimates $150-Million is sent by U.S. citizen annually to foreign countries in the hopes of obtaining instant wealth.  Crook will convince victims to send payments for “taxes” on phony lotteries/sweepstakes.
  10. TRUE.  If the caller is not a friend, relative, or verifiable business, why should you talk to this person?  Remember what your mother told you, “Don’t talk to strangers”.

*Courtesy of San Diego Police Department, Elder Abuse Unit, 1401 Broadway, San Diego, California  92101. For more information, call 619-446-1070 or click http://www.sandiego.gov/police/services/units/elderabuse/index.shtml/; or contact UC’s Neighborhood Watch Coordinator Barbara Gellman at bggellman@yahoo.com. Note: the 2nd part of this ‘IQ Test’ will be published at a later date.

To get to know your neighbors and share crime prevention tips, log into the social network for neighborhoods, your https://nextdoor.com/sandiego/ account.

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