1.Beware of free vacations, sweepstakes prizes, quick cures and get-rich-quick schemes.
2.Avoid revealing your credit card number, social security number, phone card number or bank account numbers over the phone. Some con artists pose as law enforcement officers to request such information.
3.Avoid 900 numbers, which charge you for the call.
4.Ask for financial reports if a caller requests a donation for charity.
5.If you receive items in the mail that you did not order, you are not obligated to pay.
6.Request written information by mail, research the proposition carefully and get second opinions before agreeing to anything.
7.Read contracts before signing anything.
Be suspicious of high-pressure sales and cash-only demands.
If you find yourself a victim of mail fraud, keep all letters and envelopes involved and contact the U.S. Postal Service or district or state attorney's office.
If you've been cheated, contact the police, a consumer advocacy group or your city or state consumer protection office.
Many con artists target older people.
When in doubt, refuse to provide any information or to continue talking with the individual or individuals on the phone or at your door.