With last week’s weather and subsequent recovery efforts, a lot of us find our lives in chaos. Criminals often times try to hide within that chaos. Following these simple steps can help save you from being a victim:
- When choosing a contactor make sure they are licensed, insured and bonded.
- Ask for references and actually contact those references.
- Be wary of any unsolicited offers to do work on your home
- Slow Things Down. Whether it takes place over the phone or e-mail, con artists always try to create a sense of urgency, “I’m from the IRS and if you don’t immediately pay us for taxes owed a warrant will be issued for your arrest” by simply telling someone on the phone “I will call you back” it allows you to process the information that has been thrown at you and decide if it still sounds legitimate. Real companies will always be okay with you calling them back.
- Ask a friend. Before making the decision to send money to anyone talk to a trusted friend, family member, or even someone at the local branch of your bank.
- Never give out your personal information unless you initiated the contact. Crooks will frequently ask you to verify who you are (full name, social security number, account number, etc.) over the phone or internet as a way to get you to give them vital information.
- Never use links or phone numbers contained in an email sent to you. By taking the extra step of looking up the web address, phone number, or e-mail yourself, you ensure you know who you are talking to.
Please don’t hesitate to call the Sugar Land Police Department, 281-275-2020, and ask to speak with your crime prevention Officer if you ever have concerns or questions about fraud.