AVOID INTERNATIONAL MASS MARKETING FRAUD

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From the VA:

Mass marketing fraud includes any plan, program, promotion, or campaign that is conducted through solicitation by telephone, mail, the Internet, or other means (e.g., mass meetings) to induce multiple persons to (1) purchase goods or services; (2) participate in a contest, sweepstakes, or lottery; (3) invest for financial profit; or (4) otherwise pay advance fees or “taxes” for services that are promised but not delivered.

As the name implies, International Mass Marketing Fraud is a crime that uses distance and location as its primary means of success, making it more difficult for law enforcement to track and prosecute the perpetrators. In part, this is due to jurisdictional authority of law enforcement agencies throughout the world.

Some common scams are:
–Charity
–Counterfeit Cashier’s Check
–Foreign Lotteries
–Investment
–Mortgage
–Romance
–Telemarketing West African Advance-Fee
What to look for:
–Being asked for personal financial Information such as bank account information or credit card numbers via the telephone or by email.
–Using high-pressure sales tactics so as not to give you time to think about the information you are providing.
–Being told you have won a foreign lottery or sweepstakes.
– Being asked to help transfer funds out of a foreign country for a share of the money.
–Being offered help in repairing credit scores for an advanced fee.
–Receiving a counterfeit cashier’s check or money order for more than the cost of the item you are selling
Remain Vigilant:
–Take time to research any offers you receive over the Internet or telephone.
–Do not deposit any checks that are supposed winnings from a lottery or sweepstakes, especially if you didn’t enter one.
–Do not provide your sensitive, personal, or financial information unless you know who you are dealing with.
–Consult friends and family or a trusted advisor before making any major financial decisions.

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