INDIAN RIVER COUNTY — The Indian River County Sheriff’s office would like to remind the public that billions of human interactions are facilitated on the Internet every day and, as such, scams have become a common occurrence.
Therefore, it is very important to take some common sense precautions online as you would offline. Here are some suggestions:
Deal locally with folks you can meet in person – follow this one simple rule and you will avoid 99 percent of the scam attempts on the Internet.
Never wire funds via Western Union, Moneygram or any other wire service without verifying the person’s identity – they could be a scammer.
Fake cashier checks and money orders are common and banks will cash them and then hold you responsible when the fake is discovered later.
Never give out financial information (bank account number, social security number, eBay/PayPal information, etc.)
Avoid deals involving shipping or escrow services and know that only a scammer will “guarantee” your transaction.
If you have information about a possible Internet scam, notify:
FTC video: how to report scams to the FTC
FTC toll free hotline: 877-FTC-HELP (877-382-4357)
FTC online complaint form
Canadian PhoneBusters hotline: 888-495-8501
Competition Bureau Canada: 800-348-5358
Internet Fraud Complaint Center
Software piracy (http://www.siia.net/piracy/report.asp)
Non-emergency number for your local police department.
Most scams involve one or more of the following:
Inquiry from someone far away, often in another country
Western Union, Moneygram, cashier’s check, money order, shipping, escrow service, or a “guarantee”
Inability or refusal to meet face-to-face before consummating transaction