Quick Tips to Prevent Scams

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How to recognize a scam

There are many different types of scams, as we talked about in the common scams page. Below are some basic principles to help you recognize and prevent a thief from stealing your money.

  • Did someone promise you a job if you pay them?
  • Never pay anyone who promises you a job, a certificate that will get you a job, or secret access to jobs. These are scams.
  • Did the IRS, Homeland Security, District Attorney's Office, FBI, Immigration, State Police or other "official" agency telephone saying you owe money?
  • These agencies NEVER call to ask for money. Government agencies do not call to threaten you or ask for money.
  • Are you or have you entered the Diversity Visa Lottery to get a green card?
  • The lottery is free to apply and the choice is random. No one can increase your chance of winning.
  • Are you looking for legal help with immigration?
  • Use a lawyer or an accredited representative, never a notary public (notario).
  • Did you get a call or email saying you won something, (except there is a fee)?
  • Never pay for a prize. That is a scam. You will lose your money.
  • Did a caller offer to help you get back some money you lost?
  • No government agency or legitimate business will call and demand money to help you get money back.
  • Did you get a check from someone who asked you to give them part of t he money back?
  • Never give someone money in return for a check. Fake checks can look real and fool the bank. When it is discovered to be fake, you will have to pay back ALL the money.
  • Did you get an email, text, or telephone call asking for your credit card, bank account, or Social Security number?
  • Never give that information to anyone who asks over email, text or telephone.