On this episode of Happy & Healthy Eric Friedman, Director of Montgomery County Office of Consumer Protection (OCP) joins Nira Berry to discuss different types of SCAMS. Consumer Protection not only deals with scams , but they are the authority for licensing businesses. Identity Theft is more a matter of not if you’ll get your identity stolen, but when and can crooks can get your Social Security number or credit card numbers, or bank accounts. Phishing is when scammers telephone or email with deceptive bait. For example, if you click on something and it has a virus, it can give your information to fraudsters. Caller ID can appear as a fraudulent contact. Spoof Imitating someone and scare them our of $$$, like you owe the IRS back taxes or the Sheriff’s Office.
Have you ever had an email that stated you have an expected package, make sure you look at the address and other important details. A red flag could be something is just a little off, FedExx, instead of FedEx. Eric tells us not to trust anything that pop up or anything you don’t initiate yourself. There are often Fire Department or Police SCAMS. Gift Card Scams is when people ask for payment with Gift Cards because it’s hard to get your $$$ back. Robo Calls are another huge problem and Unlicensed Contractors tricking into paying for work you don’t need or don’t ever get done. Covid Scams have been occurring almost as long as the virus has effected the United States. There are price gouging for anything related, fraudulent vaccine testing, and pay $ to have the vaccine delivered to you.
It is smart to check your credit report often and to research companies. There are 3 bureaus you can check for free with once a year. Attorney General and Montgomery County Resident, Brian Frosh works with Consumer Protection, closely advising and representing our legislature and state agencies and acts as the “People’s Lawyer” for Maryland citizens. Frosh has dealt with many cases involving Children’s Social Security numbers being stolen because no one checks a child’s credit report. For more information or to get help visit MontgomeryCountyMD.gov/OCP.
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