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Fraud and Scams
First and foremost, if something sounds too good to be true, then it most likely is.

-Never give a caller your credit card, phone card,social security or bank account number over the phone.  It is illegal for telemarketers to ask for these numbers to verify a prize or gift.

-Beware of 900 numbers.  If you are ever directed to call a 900 number in order to collect a prize or obtain easy credit you will most likely end up with nothing but a $50 charge on your phone bill.

-Listen carefully to the names of charities who request money.  Often fraudulent names are used that sound like reputable well known organizations.  Don't be afraid to say no and hang up, even to police related organizations.

-Ask for a financial report before donating.  A reputable charity will send you one.

-Investigate before you invest.  Never make an investment with a stranger.  Beware of "get rich quick" or "once in a lifetime" opportunities.

-Look closely at offers that come in the mail.  Con artists use official looking forms and bold graphics to lure victims.

-Remember that you are under no obligation to pay for any item that comes to you unsolicited through the mail.  You are free to return it, throw it away or keep it.

-Be aware of cheap home repair work that would otherwise be expensive, regardless of the reason given. The con artist may just do part of the work, use shoddy materials and untrained workers, or simply take your deposit and never return.

-Deal only with local reputable contractors; not someone who shows up at your door offering to do work on your home.