Have you fallen victim to a scam recently? Were you perhaps offered a bogus free federal grant or sold a Fake iPad in your grocery store parking lot?
There’s now an easy way to alert people in your area of the potential threat. The Better Business Bureau has launched a new site that allows consumers and businesses to readily report instances of fraud they’ve encountered and stay up-to-date on scams that are cropping up around them.
Consumers who visit BBB Scam Tracker can file a report about a recent incident or look up suspicious activity in their area. You can also see what scams are going on nationally or search for scams via keyword or type. The BBB said staffers review all of the reports to identify patterns of fraud and ensure that the submissions are legitimate. It’s encouraging consumers in the U.S. and Canada to use the site, since the data it collects will be shared with law enforcement, who can then work to shut the scams down.
How to Protect Yourself
You can reduce the odds of falling victim to a scam by verifying requests for sensitive personal information, refraining from clicking on links in suspicious or unsolicited emails (even if they appear to be from a legitimate business), being equally wary of anyone asking you to wire money and generally questioning or simply avoiding “too-good-to-be-true” scenarios.
If you have fallen victim to a scam, you can report it to your local police. If you think your personal or financial information has been compromised, it’s a good idea to keep an eye on your credit. (You can pull your credit reports for free every year at AnnualCreditReport.com and see your credit scores for free each month at Credit.com.) Strange items on a credit report, like unfamiliar addresses or, worse, mysterious loan accounts, can be a sign that identity theft is at play.
More on Identity Theft:
- Identity Theft: What You Need to Know
- How Do I Dispute an Error on My Credit Report?
- 3 Dumb Things You Can Do With Email