When you send money to people you do not know personally or give personal or financial information to unknown callers, you increase your chances of becoming a victim of telemarketing fraud.
Here are some warning signs of telemarketing fraud—what a caller may tell you:
“You must act ‘now’ or the offer won’t be good.”
“You’ve won a ‘free’ gift, vacation, or prize.” But you have to pay for “postage and handling” or other charges.
“You must send money, give a credit card or bank account number, or have a check picked up by courier.” You may hear this before you have had a chance to consider the offer carefully.
“You don’t need to check out the company with anyone.” The callers say you do not need to speak to anyone including your family, lawyer, accountant, local Better Business Bureau, or consumer protection agency.
“You don’t need any written information about their company or their references.”
“You can’t afford to miss this ‘high-profit, no-risk’ offer.”
If you hear these or similar “lines” from a telephone salesperson, just say “no thank you” and hang up the telephone.
Tips for Avoiding Telemarketing Fraud:
It’s very difficult to get your money back if you’ve been cheated over the telephone. Before you buy anything by telephone, remember:
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. But, unfortunately, beware—not everything written down is true.
Always check out unfamiliar companies with your local consumer protection agency, Better Business Bureau, state attorney general, the National Fraud Information Center, or other watchdog groups. Unfortunately, not all bad businesses can be identified through these organizations.
Obtain a salesperson’s name, business identity, telephone number, street address, mailing address, and business license number before you transact business. Some con artists give out false names, telephone numbers, addresses, and business license numbers. Verify the accuracy of these items.
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.
Before you send money, ask yourself a simple question. “What guarantee do I really have that this solicitor will use my money in the manner we agreed upon?”
Don’t pay in advance for services. Pay services only after they are delivered.
Be wary of companies that want to send a messenger to your home to pick up money, claiming it is part of their service to you. In reality, they are taking your money without leaving any trace of who they are or where they can be reached.
Always take your time making a decision. Legitimate companies won’t pressure you to make a snap decision.
Don’t pay for a “free prize.” If a caller tells you the payment is for taxes, he or she is violating federal law.
Before you receive your next sales pitch, decide what your limits are—the kinds of financial information you will and won’t give out on the telephone.
Be sure to talk over big investments offered by telephone salespeople with a trusted friend, family member, or financial advisor. It’s never rude to wait and think about an offer.
Never respond to an offer you don’t understand thoroughly.
Never send money or give out personal information such as credit card numbers and expiration dates, bank account numbers, dates of birth, or social security numbers to unfamiliar companies or unknown persons.
Be aware that your personal information is often brokered to telemarketers through third parties.
If you have been victimized once, be wary of persons who call offering to help you recover your losses for a fee paid in advance.
If you have information about a fraud, report it to state, local, or federal law enforcement agencies.
Nigerian letter frauds combine the threat of impersonation fraud with a variation of an advance fee scheme in which a letter mailed from Nigeria offers the recipient the “opportunity” to share in a percentage of millions of dollars that the author—a self-proclaimed government official—is trying to transfer illegally out of Nigeria. The recipient is encouraged to send information to the author, such as blank letterhead stationery, bank name and account numbers, and other identifying information using a fax number provided in the letter. Some of these letters have also been received via e-mail through the Internet. The scheme relies on convincing a willing victim, who has demonstrated a “propensity for larceny” by responding to the invitation, to send money to the author of the letter in Nigeria in several installments of increasing amounts for a variety of reasons.
Payment of taxes, bribes to government officials, and legal fees are often described in great detail with the promise that all expenses will be reimbursed as soon as the funds are spirited out of Nigeria. In actuality, the millions of dollars do not exist, and the victim eventually ends up with nothing but loss. Once the victim stops sending money, the perpetrators have been known to use the personal information and checks that they received to impersonate the victim, draining bank accounts and credit card balances. While such an invitation impresses most law-abiding citizens as a laughable hoax, millions of dollars in losses are caused by these schemes annually. Some victims have been lured to Nigeria, where they have been imprisoned against their will along with losing large sums of money. The Nigerian government is not sympathetic to victims of these schemes, since the victim actually conspires to remove funds from Nigeria in a manner that is contrary to Nigerian law. The schemes themselves violate section 419 of the Nigerian criminal code, hence the label “419 fraud.”
Tips for Avoiding Nigerian Letter or “419” Fraud:
If you receive a letter from Nigeria asking you to send personal or banking information, do not reply in any manner. Send the letter to the U.S. Secret Service, your local FBI office, or the U.S. Postal Inspection Service. You can also register a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission’s Complaint Assistant.
If you know someone who is corresponding in one of these schemes, encourage that person to contact the FBI or the U.S. Secret Service as soon as possible.
Be skeptical of individuals representing themselves as Nigerian or foreign government officials asking for your help in placing large sums of money in overseas bank accounts.
Do not believe the promise of large sums of money for your cooperation.
Identity theft occurs when someone assumes your identity to perform a fraud or other criminal act. Criminals can get the information they need to assume your identity from a variety of sources, including by stealing your wallet, rifling through your trash, or by compromising your credit or bank information. They may approach you in person, by telephone, or on the Internet and ask you for the information.
The sources of information about you are so numerous that you cannot prevent the theft of your identity. But you can minimize your risk of loss by following a few simple hints.
Tips for Avoiding Identity Theft:
Never throw away ATM receipts, credit statements, credit cards, or bank statements in a usable form.
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The 29th Annual Inaugural Ceremonies
Honorable Barack Obama
President of the United States of America
Honorable Andrew M. Cuomo
Governor of the New York State
Honorable Michael R. Bloomberg
The Mayor of the City of New York
Honorable Richard A. Brown
District Attorney Queens County
Honorable Raymond W. Kelly
Police Commissioner City of New York
The Asian American Council
Michael S. Limb
Together we can become more
Innovative, Adaptive and Creative
In solving today’s problems
Reception committee Co-Chairmen
01) Tomiko Abe Co-Chairman of the Tokyo Chapter of the AAC
02) Dr. Louis Fujimoto Chairman of the Japanese Affairs Committee
03) James Fan Director of the Chinese Affairs Committee
04) David Ignacio, Esq. Chairman of the Filipino Affairs Committee
05) Richie Ian Chairman of the Caribbean Affairs Committee
06) Mohummad Iqubal Chairman of the International Affairs Committee
07) Lisa Su Li Chairman of the Inter Governmental Affairs Committee
08) Young Chul Lee Co-Chairman of the Korean Affairs Queens Committee
09) Qasim Majeed Chairman of the Event Committee
10) Pea Young Ho Co-Chairman of the Korean Business Affairs Committee
11) Jae Hack Sin Co-Chairman of the Korean Business Affairs Committee
12) James Sheng Director of the Chinese Business Affairs Committee
13) Gun Soo Youn Chairman of the Korean Affairs Committee
14) Wu, Kuan He Chairman of the Chinese Business Affairs Queens Committee
15) Oshell Oh Communication Director of the International Affairs Committee
16) Rafael Flores Director of Central America Affair Committee
The Asian American Council
Request the Honor of Your Presence
The Twenty Ninth Annual Inaugural Ceremonies
Anniversary Dinner Reception
Oct. 23rd, 2013
Good Fortune Restaurant (Former East Manor) Banquet Hall
46-45 Kissena Boulevard, Flushing, New York 11355
Cocktail Reception at 6:00 P.M.
Official Anniversary Ceremony at 7:00 P.M.
Dinner Reception at 8:00 P.M.
Michael S. Limb
The Asian American Council Website: AsianAmericanCouncil.org