Business Schemes: Mail order “Work-at-Home” jobs usually cost more than you profit.
Home Repairs: “Free inspections or estimates” that have hidden costs on repairs that do not exist.
Insurance Fraud: Policies offering “low rates with big benefits.” If it seems too good to be true…it probably is.
Medical Fraud/Miracle Cures: “Quick fixes” that may not be medically sound. Consult with a doctor.
Property Scams: Fictitious “investment deals.” Check out the property/owner before purchasing.
Phony Charities: Solicitations from groups pretending to be a charity, real or otherwise. Make your own contacts to donate.
Debt Consolidation: Services offering to consolidate bills with hidden high interest rates.
Foreign/Domestic Lottery Schemes: You’ve been told that you’ve inherited or won a large sum of money. Consult with an attorney. Foreign lotteries are illegal in the U.S.
Grandparents Scam: You receive a call from someone pretending to be your grandchild. They tell you that they need money to get out of jail, to fix car problems, or for some other emergency. Call the parents to verify the claim before sending money.
Bank Scams: You’re asked to withdraw money to help with an undercover investigation. The money becomes “evidence” that is not returned.
Investment Scams/Pyramid Schemes: “Get Rich” offers that promise little or no risk. Have your attorney check out any investment.
Free Prize Offers: A “prize” for your credit card number, after a purchase, or for attending a sales pitch, usually costs more that the prize itself.
Vacation Packages: “Low cost” trips that never take place or have hidden expenses.
Don’t fall for these:
- “You must pay to win”
- “You must decide now”
- “We need your credit card number”
- “You must pay now”
- “Don’t tell anyone, say you need
- the money for an emergency”
- “The initial investment will be well worth the risk” or “You’ll regret it later if you don’t”
- “We do not provide written
- information or references”
- “You’re stupid if you don’t do this”
- “The promise/prize is in the mail”
If you become a victim…
Report fraud to local law enforcement, the Better Business Bureau, or your local consumer protection office.
Better Business Bureau
Illinois Attorney General’s Office
National Consumers League/Fraud Info. Center