Internet & the Law

Scammers seem to be hidden around every corner. Use of the internet to communicate, pay bills, shop, and to otherwise conduct a large part of our lives, makes it easier than ever for scammers to hide and victimize.

Research has shown that older people are more likely to be victimized than younger adults, although, that could also be because older people simply have more money. Being defrauded, however, is not exclusive to one age group or the other.

There are simple ways to protect yourself from being robbed by scammers. Fraud experts say in order to protect your money, cut down on your exposure to sales pitches. Don’t respond to sales pitches delivered by television, email, or phone.

The research has also shown that fraud victims were more likely to send away for free promotional materials and attend free lunches and seminars where such pitches are often made. Entering online sweepstakes is also not recommended because usually, you are giving the sponsor a lot of personal information.

Reduce your exposure to potential scams by doing some of the following:

-Don’t make investment decisions over the phone or through email.

-When you give your personal information, know to whom and why you are giving it.

-Sign up for a telephone call-blocking system.

-Let unknown callers go to voicemail.

-Put yourself on the federal Do Not Call list.

Getting a second opinion before making a large investment is also a good idea. Getting caught up in the emotions and excitement of a new purchase or investment can end up being disastrous and is one thing that scammers count on.

Another recommendation from the experts is to consolidate your accounts so that there are fewer to monitor. Most financial institutions now offer monitoring services to let you know when unusual activity has occurred on an account.

If you have legal questions, please consult our Online Legal Directory to find an attorney in your area.

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