Identifying a Scam
I speak with a lot of people throughout the day with questions about an email they received or a conversation they had with someone and they all wanted to know if they were dealing with someone who was legit or not. So I thought I would give everyone guidelines to help identify a scam whether your a seller or buyer.
- You see an ad and notice that the seller is in the U.S. and then the buyer tells you they just moved and they are living in another country. They may say that they moved due to personal reasons or a job, etc. This should be a red flag and ask more questions.
- The seller won't accept a check and is only accepting a wire from Western Union or a financial insitution. Wiring money to another institution is like sending cash and trying to stop a wire is virtually impossible.
- If the seller asks you to wire money to their business associate or someone other than then themselves, this should raise a red flag. If the seller asks you to wire money and they are in WA but the account is registered in IL, this is a red flag and more questions should be asked.
If you are the seller here are some tips to keep you safe:
- If someone is interested in your vehicle and they want to buy it without seeing the vehicle, be cautious and ask why they would buy a vechile without seeing it.
- If you receive a text message from someone who is interested in your vehicle and they ask to send them more detailed information about the vehicle, this is a red flag b/c if they saw your vehicle they would have all of the information about your vehicle.
- There are times where as a seller you may sell a vehicle and accept a cashier's check as payment. A day or two after the sale, the buyer may send you an email stating that they sent you too much money and if you could wire the difference back to them. This is a red flag and you should contact the financial insitution where the cashier's check is drawn on to report the suspicious activity.
The other question I seem to get a lot is; I've been the victim of fraud or I received a phishing email and clicked the link within the email, what should I do?
- If you are the victim of a financial crime, contact your local police department and file a police report.
- If you wired money to an institution, contact the institution's fraud deaprtment to report the scam.
- If you were the victim of a scam that occured on the internet, file a complaint with the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) at www.ic3.gov
- If you want to report a phishing email you can report the phishing scam to the Anti Phishing Working Group (APWG) at http://www.antiphishing.org