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HomeScams, Frauds, Robocalls

SCAMS, FRAUD, and ROBOCALLS

 

SCAMS AND FRAUD

To report scams or find out if something could be a scam, call the Maryland Attorney General’s Consumer Hotline 410-528-8662 or toll-free 1-888-743-0023.

For identity theft information and assistance, contact Maryland Attorney General’s Identity Theft Unit at 1-410-576-6491.

To stop receiving pre-approved credit card offers, call 1-888-567-8688 or go online to optoutprescreen.com.

To register your phone number on the Do Not Call List, call the FTC at 1-888-382-1222 or go to donotcall.gov.

Report IRS scams to the following:

                  US Treasury Department 1-800-366-4484

                  Federal Trade Commission 1-877-FTC-HELP

For more information on scams, fraud, identity theft etc. and how to protect yourself or get help, see the 35-page booklet from the MD Attorney General's Office, Consumer Guide for Marylanders.  If you'd like a free print copy, request one by calling 410-576-6500 or toll-free 1-888-743-0023.  

ROBOCALLS

To block robocalls on some landlines, for free, register on nomorobo.com.
  Also available on cells for a monthly fee. 

To activate “anonymous call rejection service,” dial *77 on your phone.  Check with your phone provider to confirm they offer this feature.


To list your phones on the National Do Not Call Registry - donotcall.gov/

 
TIPS for dealing with robocalls:

•If you answer a robocall that invites you to press a number to opt out, don’t do it!  That will verify that yours is a working number and can leave you vulnerable to receiving more calls.


•If a caller asks, “Can you hear me?”, do NOT answer “Yes.”  The caller can record your voice signature and use it to authorize fraudulent charges by telephone.


•If a caller claims to be from the IRS or Social Security and says you owe money, do NOT respond.


For more info see:

Robocalls, and Their Scams, Are Surging" by Tara Siegel Barnard, New York Times, May 6, 2018.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/06/your-money/robocalls-rise-illegal.html


“Robocalls Flooding Your Cellphone? Here’s How to Stop Them” by Christopher Mele, New York Times, May 11, 2017.

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/11/smarter-living/stop-robocalls.html

 

COVID-19 SCAM ALERT:
Scammers are taking advantage of fears surrounding COVID-19
. Here are some tips to keep you and your money safe.

Be suspicious of emails claiming to be from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO), or other experts saying they have information on the virus.

Ignore online offers or advertisements for vaccinations and cures for COVID-19.

Don’t answer unknown or blocked numbers. If you receive robocalls, hang up right away.

Don’t give any personal information or press any numbers. The recording may promise that pressing a number will stop the calls; however, it will likely just lead to more. 
    
Do your homework before making any donations. Scammers will use this time to take advantage of your generosity. Don’t let anyone rush you into donating. If someone is asking for donations through gift cards or wired money, don’t do it.

Beware of online sellers claiming to have in-demand products, like cleaning, household, and health supplies. They may take your payment and never ship your order. They may also be selling items for a price far above their value. Do research on this before ordering anything. If everything checks out, make sure to pay by credit card and keep a record of your transaction.

For more information on scams and fraud, visit the Federal Trade Commission: https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/features/coronavirus-scams-what-ftc-doing