During this time of charitable giving, the Los Alamitos Police Department is offering tips to keep your money out of the pockets of scammers.
It's reminding you to:
- Beware of tweets and emails from charities asking for donations.
- Get specifics about how and where donations will be used.
- Be skeptical of people who come to your door or call on the phone; they might not represent legitimate charities.
- Realize that con artists know that the longer they keep you on the phone, the higher the chance of success; that they use official looking forms; that they are polite and convincing; that they pretend to share your values; and that they try to pressure you into making a decision.
The Police Department urges you not to be fooled by:
- Legitimate-looking emails that get you to reveal personal and credit information for criminal purposes.
- Emails that purport to be from delivery services such as UPS or FedEx and request that you enter personal information to track your delivery.
The department reminds you to:
- Never give out Social Security, credit card, or bank account numbers over the phone unless you initiate the call and are certain the source is legitimate.
- Beware of 900 numbers. If you call one to claim a prize, you pay for the call.
- Watch out for a common scam in which callers ask for money on behalf of one of your family members who can’t come to the phone because of an accident or arrest.
- Don’t give out account information for electronic transfers.
- Don't give money for job and housing “opportunities” until you have met the person or have seen the location.
And to protect yourself from identity theft, the department urges you to:
- Shred mail containing personal information or credit card offers.
- Use caution when providing personal information.
- Be cautious when using your credit card on the Internet.