- You live alone and enjoy talking to anyone calling
- You believe it's rude to interrupt a caller or to hang up
- You must pay money up front for taxes or fees to participate
- You must make an immediate decision, before the call ends, or the offer will be rescinded
- You are called more and more frequently by a multiplying variety of telephone solicitors
- Never talk to strangers on the telephone - they are not calling to wish you a good day. They are invading your privacy - as though they have walked into your home.
- Sign up for Colorado No Call 1-888-249-9097 or www.coloradonocall.com
- Use an answering machine, voice mail or Caller ID to screen calls.
- Never, under any circumstances, give any portion of your credit card, bank account, or Social Security numbers to a caller.
Mail and Internet Fraud
- You play sweepstakes daily because you think you need extra money, holding out hope you will win a big prize some day
- You believe because your mail is delivered by the U.S. Postal Service, it must be legitimate
- You open and read all of your mail because many pieces look like official government documents or heart-felt solicitations for charity - and you don't have anything better to do
- You're getting the same offers through e-mail that you used to receive through the mail
- Even though it may be fun or give you something to do, stop participating in sweepstakes, lottery, and contest offers.
- If you were to truly win something, you NEVER have to pay any fees, taxes, or costs of ANY kind before receiving your winnings - that's the law!
- Don’t even give temptation a chance. If you receive a mailing or e-mail that promotes sweepstakes, lotteries, charities, credit repair, work-at-home offers, or a Nigerian letter, throw the envelope away or delete the e-mail without opening it.
Home Improvement Fraud
- A contractor solicits you at your door, insisting you have a problem which must be repaired right away
- A contractor offers a bargain price or claims to have materials left over from another job
- A contractor requires a substantial payment in advance or charges significantly more after the work is completed
- An inspector appears at your door, claiming to work for the city or a utility company and must come into your home to inspect your water heater, furnace, or back yard
- BEWARE door-to-door contractors who use high-pressure or scare tactics to get an immediate decision.
- DON'T do business with someone who comes to your door offering a bargain or claims to have materials left over.
- Get at least 3 written bids. DON'T always choose the lowest bidder--almost all complaints to the DA's office are contractors with very low bids. You get what you pay for!
- Require the contractor to use a written contract that lists materials, costs, and the completion date.
- Don't allow any stranger into your home, no matter who they claim to be. City inspectors do not go door to door!
- You've fallen behind in your mortgage payments or you are already in foreclosure
- You're getting phone calls and visits from companies offering to help you pay off your debts
- You're receiving numerous fliers in the mail or on your door offering low interest cash loans
- A friend, advisor or relative asks you to sign some forms - you do, without reading them
- Beware of companies who contact you in person or by fliers offering a foreclosure relief service.
- Don't sign any forms or papers without reading and understanding what you're signing. If you're uneasy or feeling pressured, get advice from a lawyer or other advisor.
- Don't deed your property to anyone. First consult an attorney, a knowledgeable family member, or someone else you trust completely. Once you sign legal papers, it can be difficult, or even impossible, to reverse the action.
Financial Planning and Investment Fraud
- High pressure sales tactics with an insistence on an immediate decision;
- Unwillingness to let you discuss the deal with another advisor or to get a second opinion;
- A guaranteed investment or one with 'no risk';
- Unwillingness to provide written information, including state securities registrations and verifiable references;
- A suggestion that you invest on the basis of trust or faith.
- Surround yourself with several advisors - don't become solely dependent on one financial advisor or consultant.
- Thoroughly check out any offer - don't be rushed into making a hasty decision. Contact the Colorado Division of Securities at 303-894-2320 if you have questions.
- Carefully review your financial statements and look for signs of unauthorized or excessive trading. Periodically check your account online or by phone with the fund managers.
- If you have trouble retrieving your funds, don't let a false sense of trust keep you from demanding a return of your investment.
Care Giver Fraud
- Unusual activity in bank and credit card accounts
- Caregiver tries to isolate the victim who comes to rely solely on the caregiver
- Caregiver has total control over finances and has all financial statements mailed to him or her.
- New acquaintances appear on the scene and the adult is either completely charmed, or fearful of the caregiver
- If your Power of Attorney or anyone else suggests you make a change in your assets, your investments, or insurance, always get two or three other opinions from within your team of advisors. Only a potential crook will not want you to discuss the change with others.
- No matter how much you know, love or trust someone, never sign papers you have not read or do not understand.
- Even if you have a representative payee, Power of Attorney or other advisor who manages your finances, insist on receiving and reviewing copies of all bank and financial statements.