You pick up the phone, and you’re told that you’ve won a free gift, vacation, or prize. You must act immediately to claim your winnings.
That scenario may sound familiar, and you may be excited about that offer, but you may have also just become a victim of telemarketing fraud.
According to the Federal Trade Commission, 2.4 million adults in the United States — about one percent of the population — were victims of fraudulent prize promotions in 2011.
Overall, about one-in-ten adults — 25.6 million people — were victims of fraud in America in 2011. They were scammed by fraudulent prize promotions, weight loss products, work-at-home programs, unauthorized billing for buyers’ clubs, and more.
A single scam can destroy a company, devastate families by wiping out their life savings, or cost investors billions of dollars. Recovering from identity theft, in particular, can be a stressful and overwhelming experience. To help improve and expand services to victims, the Office for Victims of Crime created the ID Theft Toolkit for victim advocates, attorneys, law enforcement, and others involved in assisting victims.
In an effort to educate businesses and the public about the devastating impact of fraud, as well as to promote basic steps that can be taken to recognize, report, and reduce the risk of becoming a victim of fraudulent activities, NCJRS presents this online compilation of resources addressing the topic.
To learn more about fraud, select a specific content area from the box to the right under the “Fraud Awareness” heading.