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Spot a scam or a con
The Sequim Police Department, Clallam County Sheriff's Office and the National Crime Prevention Council bring you tips to spot a con:
• Do not give private information out over the phone or Internet unless you initiated the contact; it is illegal for telemarketers to request that information to verify a prize or gift.
• Look closely at offers that come through e-mail or in the mail.
• Be wary of mail or e-mails promising "free" vacations, foreign lotteries, cashier check scams, work at home offers or schemes that ask for your money up front.
• Beware of cheap home repair work that otherwise would be expensive.
• Most importantly, if you receive an offer that seems to good to be true, it probably is a scam or a con.
Scams and cons also can lead to your identity being taken and used to open bogus accounts in your name causing extensive damage to your credit score and months of clearing your name once it is detected.
If you are a victim of identity theft:
• File a police report, contact one of the three major credit reporting agencies (Equifax 800-525-6285, Experian 888-397-3742 and TransUnion 800-680-7289) to place a fraud alert on your accounts.
• File a complaint at www.fraud.org and www.consumer.gov/sentinel/ and if the crime occurred using the Internet, also file a complaint at www.ic3.gov.
Remember, you are entitled to one free credit report a year regardless of whether you are a victim of fraud or not; you can request the report from www.annualcreditreport.com or 877-322-8228.