Home > constituent-services > Fraud & Scams

Fraud & Scams

Be sure to do your research on donation solicitations before you decide to give. 

1. Research the charity. Do a charity search at www.charitynavigator.orgwww.give.org; or www.guidestar.org.  What should you be looking for?  Primarily, for how much of the charity's expenses go to the cause.  Follow the 65 percent rule of thumb.

2. Find out where the charity is.  For example, if it's an out-of-state charity, your state or local chapter might not benefit at all.

3. Consider giving directly to the charity. You may send your check directly to the charity. Get its address from one of the above websites or call the BBB's Wise Giving Alliance at (703) 276-0100.

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has a website dedicated to how to avoid internet fraud.  If you believe that you have been the victim of a securities-related fraud, through the Internet or if you believe that any person or entity may have violated or is currently violating federal securities laws, you can submit a complaint using their online complaint form or email the SEC at enforcement@sec.gov.  If you are aware of an online fraud, tell the SEC about it.
  
Common Fraud Scams

Telemarketing Fraud
Fraud Alert
Nigerian Letter or 419 Fraud
Impersonation/Identity Fraud
Advance Fee Scheme
Health Insurance

Investment Related Scams

Letter of Credit Fraud
Prime Bank Note
Ponzi Scheme
Pyramid Scheme

Internet Scams

Internet Auction Fraud
Non-Delivery of Merchandise
Credit Card Fraud
Investment Fraud
Business Fraud
Nigerian Letter Scam

Fraud Target: Senior Citizens

Health Insurance Fraud
Counterfeit Prescription Drugs
Funeral and Cemetery Fraud
Fraudulent "Anti-Aging" Products
Telemarketing Fraud
Internet Fraud
Investment Schemes

 

Calls from "809," "649" and "284" Area Codes

The Scam Works Something Like This:

Your wireless phone rings once or twice and then disconnects the call. When the number appears in your wireless phone log as a missed call, it appears to be a typical domestic telephone number starting with a “649” area code; or you get an e-mail or voicemail (on your residential wired telephone) telling you to call a phone number with an “809”, “284”, “876,” or some other three-digit international area code.

When you return the call, you assume you are making a domestic long distance call – as “649,” “809,” “284,” “876,” and other area codes involved in this scam, appear to be typical three-digit U.S. area codes.

When you dial the three-digit area code plus the number, however, you are connected to a phone number outside the United States, often in Canada or the Caribbean, and are charged expensive international call rates, and may be charged for pay-per-call services as well. (In this case, “649” goes to the Turks and Caicos, “809” goes to the Dominican Republic, “284” goes to the British Virgin Islands, and “876” goes to Jamaica.)

You don’t find out about the higher international call rates until you receive your phone bill.

What You Can Do to Minimize the Risk of This Happening to You:

*Check any unfamiliar area codes before returning calls.

*Be aware that there are many 3-digit area codes (mostly in the Caribbean) that connect callers to international telephone numbers.

*If you do not otherwise make international calls, ask your local or wireless phone company to block outgoing international calls on your line.

To read more about calls from "809," "649," "284" area codes visit the Federal Communication Commission's website at https://www.fcc.gov/guides/one-ring-wireless-phone-scam.



Return to Consumer Protection Guide

VOICES FROM THE 5TH

"Thank you for keeping us informed about the Washington situation...I sincerely hope that you will try your very best to de-fund Obamacare." - Bill, Mocksville

VOICES FROM THE 5TH

"The federal government needs to rein in spending and re-work the tax code...There needs to be real changes." - David, Kernersville

VOICES FROM THE 5TH

"The only way to ensure a meaningful education is to provide students with teachers that are dedicated to them and their individual needs." - Mary, Hickory

VOICES FROM THE 5TH

"The number one issue that Congress should be working on is the economy, the smothering regulations and the mounting debt." - Jeff, Lewisville

VOICES FROM THE 5TH

"Please support our 2nd amendment rights at all cost." - Robert, Lewisville

VOICES FROM THE 5TH

"We MUST continue to send a message...that [government] cannot pick and choose which parts of the Constitution they will adhere to." - Patricia, Taylorsville

VOICES FROM THE 5TH

"Our children deserve a world-class education that will equip them to compete in the global economy." - Lorrie, Kernersville

VOICES FROM THE 5TH

"The right thing is not easy, pleasant or popular. It's hard work - just like what Americans do every day." - Jeff, Advance

VOICES FROM THE 5TH

"Paying for college is already hard enough for many students, increasing the borrowing rate is only going to make a bad problem worse." - Amy, Kernersville

VOICES FROM THE 5TH

"Stand firm to cut and eliminate waste!" - Joseph, Clemmons

Previous Next