Top Ten Consumer Tips to Protect You and Your Family
Every year, thieves and con artists cheat thousands of Oregonians out of their hard-earned money and valuable personal information. These tips should help you make wise consumer decisions and protect yourself, your family, your money, and your personal information.
Tip #1. Become educated. Visit oregonconsumer.gov to learn more about consumer protection in general. Informed consumers are smart consumers.
Tip #2. Join the Scam Alert Network. Sign up online at oregonconsumer.gov to be notified of new scams, fraud and other consumer threats.
Tip #3. Reduce junk mail. Call 1-888-567-8688 or register online at optoutprescreen.com to reduce or eliminate offers of credit and insurance. You can also opt out of receiving unsolicited mail from other companies by registering online at dmachoice.org and paying $1.
Tip #4. Check out the business before you buy. Call the Oregon Department of Justice at 1-877-877-9392 or search Be Informed, an online database at oregonconsumer.gov to research complaints and resolutions.
Tip #5. Reduce telemarketing calls. The National Do Not Call Registry allows you to block most telemarketing calls. Register online at donotcall.gov or call 1-888-382-1222 from the number you want to register.
Tip #6. Understand that wiring money is like sending cash. Con artists often insist that people wire money, especially overseas, because it’s nearly impossible to reverse the transaction or trace the money. Do not wire money to:
- Someone who claims he or she wants to hire you.
- Sellers who insist on wire transfers for payment.
- Someone who claims to be a relative or friend in trouble and wants to keep it a secret from the family.
Tip #7. Order your free annual credit report. Visit annualcreditreport.com or call 1-877-322-8228 to order a free credit report and review it for errors.
Tip #8. Read the fine print. Read contracts in full before you sign, ask questions and be suspicious of promises made by salespersons that differ from the written terms, and make sure you get a copy of the signed contract for your files.
Tip #9. Sleep on it. Sales pitches that offer discounts if you “sign now” are often scams. Legitimate businesses will usually give you the same deal later.
Tip #10. Report fraud. If you think you have been a victim of fraud, call the Oregon Department of Justice at 1-877-877-9392 or visit us online oregonconsumer.gov.
Article provided by: Oregon Department of Justice, Office of the Attorney General