I'm thinking back on a previous post about debit card and credit card fraud that we experienced first hand. At the time I googled the name of the guilty so-called company and found it listed under several similar-sounding names (be sure to read my previous post!). I have some additional thoughts to share with you.
First...if someone calls you and asks for your bank account number DON'T GIVE IT TO THEM! Ditto with your credit card numbers. Admittedly, you may have times when YOU initiate the phone call to make a purchase and give your account number. But if THEY call YOU, never give them any identifying information. (I'm even skeptical about so-called surveys and generally decline such requests by callers.)
Secondly, if you've been scammed, do something about it -- like NOW -- call your bank and/or your credit card company, whichever is appropriate. Also, report the loss to your local police AND to your State Attorney General's office (google will help you out there).
Third, NEVER agree to purchase magazines over the telephone. A friend succumbed to the International Reader's League of Atlanta some time back and their bank account was accessed on a monthly basis for magazines they neither wanted nor read. It was not a simple procedure to cancel the magazines. Again, if this happens to you, contact your State Attorney General's office for help.
Fourth, you can stop those annoying telemarketers by responding "Please take my number off your calling list." Don't answer their questions. Don't talk to them at all. Simply state "Please take my number off your calling list." By law they have to do so. Oh, they may call you another time or two until your name disappears from the lists of the guy sitting next to the first guy, but they do have to cease calling. AND you can stop future telemarketers from calling you by registering your phone number at the National Do Not Call Registry. It may take 30 days for the calls to stop, but they will eventually stop.
Fifth, carefully scan your bank and credit card statements each month. Perhaps you don't think you need to reconcile your statements as long as you know the approximate balance. However, you DO need to watch to be sure someone does not take money from your account without your authorization. Again, I suggest you read my previous post on this topic. If you do, you can quickly return to this page by clicking on the blog title at the top of the page.
Sixth, if you believe some crook has taken funds from your bank or credit card, use Google or Yahoo to search for the name to see if the business is legitimate or a scam.
And, hey, go here for more info on telemarketer fraud.