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Cons & Frauds Prevention

Learning how to identify common cons and fraud situations and understanding how to protect yourself against con artists is your best defense against cons and frauds.

Types of Cons:

  • Bait and Switch – An item is listed at a great bargain in an advertisement or in-store display, but when you go to store purchase it, they say that they’ve sold out of that particular one, yet have another at a higher price.
  • Bank Examiner – A person claims to be a bank official and wants you to withdraw your money to catch a crooked employee. No bank or police agency will ask you to withdraw your money for any reason.
  • Pidgin Drop – A stranger approaches you about finding a large amount of money and wants to share it with you. The catch is you need to put up “good faith” money.

Types of Fraud:

  • Home Repair Fraud – “contractors” offering “today only” specials
  • Identity Theft – Using your social security number and other personal information, the thief takes your identity and uses it as their own to draw credit, etc
  • Sweepstakes/Contests/Lotteries – Fees to “win” a prize
  • Telemarketing Fraud – Prize offers, travel packages, health products, investments, charities, and recovery schemes

** Please Note: These are just some examples of cons and frauds, it is no way inclusive of all cons and fraud situations.


What You Can Do About Internet Fraud…

  • Delete all SPAM (unsolicited e-mail). Never reply. Purchase a SPAM filter.
  • Ignore e-mail messages that ask for your personal information—even if it looks like it comes from your ISP (Internet Service Provider), bank or auction website.
  • Only use credit card payment services and online escrow accounts that you are familiar with.


  • Distribute the "10 Tips To Help Keep You Protected Against Identy Theft" within your business and neighborhood communities.

Bottom Line...

If it sounds too good to be true…it probably is! If you suspect a con or fraud, call the police at 480-312-5000.

If you have a problem with a business, call the Better Business Bureau at (602) 264-1721 or the Arizona Attorney General Office at 602-542-5763. And don’t forget to call your financial institutions immediately if your checks/credit cards have been lost or stolen.


If you think you’re an ID Theft Victim, call the Fraud Unit of all major credit-reporting agencies listed below to place a fraud alert.

  • Equifax -  www.equifax.com
    To order your report, call: 1 (800) 685-1111
    To report fraud, call: 1 (800) 525-6285/ TDD 1 (800) 255-0056
    Write to: P.O. Box 740241, Atlanta, GA 30374-0241
  • Experian - www.experian.com
    To order your report, call: 1 (888) EXPERIAN (397-3742)
    To report fraud, call: 1 (888) EXPERIAN (397-3742)/ TDD 800-972-0322
    Write to: P.O. Box 9532, Allen TX 75013
  • TransUnion - www.transunion.com
    To order your report, call: 1 (800) 888-4213
    To report fraud, call: 1 (800) 680-7289/ TDD 877-553-7803; fax: 714-447-6034;
    email: fvad@transunion.com
    Write to: Fraud Victim Assistance Dept., P.O. Box 6790, Fullerton, CA 92634-6790

What Else You Can Do:

  • Remove your name from the telemarketer list by signing up at www.donotcall.gov or call 1 (888) 382-1222


  • Opt-out of credit and insurance offers (either permanently or for five years) by calling 1 (888) 567-8688 or go to www.optoutprescreen.com


  • Stop direct mail and telemarketers by going to www.dmaconsumers.org or send a check or money order for $1 (payable to DMA) and writing to: Direct Marketing Association, P.O. Box 282, Carmel, NY 10512