ALPENA, MI – The Alpena County Sheriff’s Office would like to remind citizens about consumer fraud.
Fraud costs individuals thousands of dollars every year. Often the “victim” is not certain a crime has happened, or is too embarrassed to take action. Anyone can be a victim, no matter how intelligent, educated, or knowledgeable they are.
Here are some tips to prevent consumer fraud:
• Be cautious whenever asked to turn over sizable amount of cash.
• Any scheme that promises you’ll get rich quick should be carefully investigated.
• Beware of the pressure sale and salespersons without proper identification.
• Don’t agree to deposit a check and wire money back.
• Never give your credit card, social security number, or any other financial information over the telephone, by mail, or by email unless you initiate the contact and know who you are dealing with.
• Review bank and credit card statements carefully. Report unauthorized transactions to your financial institution immediately.
• Tear or shred credit offers you receive in the mail, bank statements, insurance forms, and other papers with personal information.
• Check out sellers you’re unfamiliar with before buying anything from them. To start, find out whether a company has a report and rating with the Better Business Bureau (www.bbb.org).
If you suspect fraud, or feel you may need help, contact the Alpena County Sheriff’s Office at (989) 354-9839.