Fraud and Consumer Protection
In today’s world, there are many scams or fraudulent activities such as identity theft, “phishing” schemes, or other activities that may cost you a lot of money if you are not a savvy consumer. Here are some “red flags” that should warn you about possible scams:
- Wire If you are told to wire money through Money Gram or Western Union or another service, DON’T do it unless you are absolutely sure about the purpose of sending the money this way. Once you’ve wired money, you can’t get it back.
- High pressure Beware of phrases like: “You will lose out if you don’t act now.”
- Up front If you are told you must pay up front to receive your prize or winnings, it’s a scam. If you’ve won something, it’s yours and you should not have to pay anything in advance.
- Refusal to provide written If the person or company contacts you but refuses to give information in writing, don’t do business with them.
- Unrealistic profits. Don’t believe claims that you can make lots of money quickly with no risk, or with no experience or
An excellent source of information to help you avoid problems with consumer fraud is the website of the Consumer Protection unit of the Alaska Department of Law. The Department’s website www.law.state.ak.us/consumer has consumer alerts about new scams that periodically arise, and links to a form for filing a consumer complaint.