National Consumer Protection Week Downloadable Posters

he is a foreign lottery official and you have won!

He wants you to "Fire your boss and work at home."

That’s why we’re doing all that we can to educate, advise, and encourage consumers to protect themselves by investing in their financial knowledge — because an educated consumer is really the best defense against criminals.

Today there has been a surge in the number of American consumers being defrauded by overseas scam artists, especially by way of fake checks.

That’s what we’re focusing on today.

The latest complaints relate to counterfeit checks, including cashier’s checks, checks that look like they’re drawn on business accounts, money orders, traveler’s checks, and gift checks.

The swindles include: foreign business offers, sudden riches, work-at-home schemes, love losses overpayments, and rental schemes.

So when we talk about consumer protection, we under­stand that we are also talking about safeguarding the integ­rity of our national economic system.

As always, during National Consumer Protection Week, we have a lot of information to share about fraud. How to recognize it. How to avoid it. And who to contact to help you investigate offers you may receive or to report offers that you believe are phony.

As you take the time this year to spruce up on your knowledge about fraud, know that you are securing a foun­dation for your family and friends to stand on as well. As you learn about your rights and research issues concerning fraud, you’re making it that much tougher for criminals.

Two out of three adults say they receive at least one potential scam contact per week.

Eighteen percent of adults say they or a family member have fallen for one of these scams. And a majority of people surveyed by the Alliance for Consumer Fraud Awareness believe that the fraudulent check writer is responsible for the funds.

The truth is that even the most educated consumer can be a tempting target when financial pressures mount.

And, of course, we are all susceptible to human weak­ness and the desire to hit it rich or make easy money fast.

That’s when a little support from a friend or family mem­ber can go a long way.

So, all of us need to be educated about fraud, and to share that information with others.

What are some of the more common things to look out for? What are the warning signs of a fake check scheme?

In almost every case, if you exercise judgment and com­mon sense, it is likely you’ll find clues to help you avoid being a victim of a fake check scam.

Consumers should also educate themselves to know how to recognize the most common fake check scams.

Take home information today and read it.

Visit and learn why if the offer looks too good to be true, it probably is.

You will find plenty of information on various scenarios of fake check scams: foreign business offers, sudden riches, work-at-home schemes, love losses, overpay­ments, and rental schemes

There are many forms of fraud. And we can be sure that con artists will continue to evolve new ways to defraud the public.

But there is no reason that any of us should feel defenseless or become a victim.

Now is the time to make the investment in yourself and family and educate yourselves about the scams that are lurking about, seeking to destroy everything you’ve worked so hard to build.

Whatever you do, don’t take this lightly. Don’t think that this can’t happen to you. Don’t think you’re too smart for this kind of thing.

It has happened to the best of us. It can and it does hap­pen to people just like you and me.

So, let’s do all that we can to put the scammers out of business. The only true way to stop fake check scams is through increased public awareness, education, vigilance, and aggressive law enforcement.

Do your part and make the most important investment you’ll ever be glad that you made.

Educate yourself, use your judgment, and whatever you do, don’t be an easy target.

Though fake check scams are a crime, the real crime is for you not to know what to look out for.

The sooner you invest in your education about these schemes, the better!

The power to beat this fast-growing fraud rests in your hands.

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