Avoiding Scams

There are numerous types of scams that scammers will use to convince you to give them your information. The easiest way to avoid scams is to never give your information out to someone you do not know and do not give or receive money from people you do not know. Anyone can be a victim of fraud. Criminals can gain access to your information in different ways. Some may steal your physical card if you lose or leave your wallet/ purse unattended. They might obtain your information through phishing scams, which is where criminals will send you an email from what might look like a trusted source, such as your bank, and ask you to provide or confirm your information. They may call you on the phone stating you have won a prize and ask for your information that way. If you do anything with your card online, they can access your information that way. Sometimes your card information can simply be purchased online from a website. Then the offender will use your card to make purchases, obtain loans or housing in your name, pay their bills, or sell it to someone else.

The Burlington Police Department strives to help people avoid being the victims of fraud, so below we have provided some tips on how to avoid being scammed. We cannot guarantee you will never be a victim of fraud, but if you follow these basic tips, you can avoid most scams and know what to do if you are the victim of fraud.

Types of Scams:

There are a variety of existing scams, and scammers are always coming up with new ways to get your information. We have listed below just a few of the many types of fraud that scammers may try. These are some of the ones that seem to occur more frequently in the Burlington area or that Burlington citizens have been victims of recently. Visit here for a more in depth list of types of scams.
  • Telephone scams - Scammers will call or text with different types of offers like free product, trips, investment opportunities, and more. These calls may be robocalls or real people.
  • Banking Scams - These are scams that attempt to access your bank account information. Some common types are overpayment scams where scammers will send you a check, say they sent the check for too much, and ask you to wire it back to them. This results in you being out the value of the check plus whatever amount you wired to the scammer. Unsolicited checks are another type of banking scam where the offender will send you a check for no reason and once you cash it signs you up for a loan or purchase you did not want. Phishing scams are also fairly common. You may receive an email which asks you to confirm your bank information. Most banks will not ask you to do this in an email, so always check with you bank before confirming anything.
  • IRS Scams  - IRS Scams are another common type of fraud. These can occur year-round but can become more frequent during tax season. These usually consist of someone contacting you stating they are from the IRS either via phone or letter. They will say that you owe taxes and demand you pay them immediately. These scams can also include phishing emails asking you to confirm your information.
  • Lottery and Sweepstakes Scams - These consist of victims receiving phone calls, robocalls, texts, or emails stating they have won some kind of prize. However they must pay a small fee or provide their information in order to collect it. 

Tips to Avoid Fraud:

It is not always possible to avoid being the victim of fraud or a scam. Criminals do their best to make their pitch sound convincing, and your credit card information can be obtained with relative ease. However, there are some basic things you can do to avoid having your identity stolen or falling victim to a scam. We have listed below some basic tips to help you avoid fraud. For more tips, visit here.
  • DO review your bank and credit card statements for irregular amounts or strange purchases, review your personal credit report for new loans or leases that you do not recognize. 
  • DO NOT give your information to people you do not know. Scammers and thieves may contact you by phone, email, mail, or even in person asking you to provide or confirm your information. 
  • DO shred or destroy receipts, credit offers, expired credit cards, and any other document that could contain your personal information. This prevents someone going through your trash and obtaining your information.
  • DO NOT  carry your social security card with you unless necessary, store it and other personal information in a secure location.
  • DO create complex passwords, install firewalls or protection software on your electronic devices, and use your phone's security features.

Contact Us:


Phone:

(336) 229-3500
Small BPD badge