Gift Card Scam: Criminals are writing down gift card numbers that are displayed in stores, waiting for you to purchase and activate the card, and then they call in to find out the balance. Once they find that the card has been activated, it is easy for an individual to go on line and shop. They have the necessary information. You may want to avoid purchasing your card from a location where the gift cards are visible to the public. Buy your gift card directly from a store representative where the gift cards are preferably behind the counter.
Discarding Personal Information: Destroy (shred) all information with your name, address, Social Security number, driver's license number, or account number on it. Be weary of leaving trash out in public. Crimimals are known to go through the trash searching for personal information.
Foreign Money Exchanges: Be weary of any e-mails you may receive asking you to exchange foreign funds for U.S. money. These e-mails are usually from hackers and scammers trying to get you to send legitimate U.S. money to them with fake foreign checks. While the account number may be legitimate, scammers will use fake names to slow down the check cashing process. It may take years to recover lost funds, and sometimes the money may not be recovered at all if there is no way to track the sender. If someone does send you an e-mail like this, report it to immediately.
Tutoring Scam: If you see a job posting to tutor foreign students by paying a membership fee, be weary. If the company notifies you that you will be receiving your first month's check before you start, make sure it is from a reputable company. Sometimes scammers pose as tutoring companies and claim to have sent you the "wrong" check for too much money. The scammer will then request for you to send the difference back. A legitimate company would never do this. They would put a stop payment on the check you're receiving instead of asking you to send back the difference. To test this company to make sure it's real, check with the BBB. Or, suggest mailing their check back without cashing it. You can also tell them to stop payment on the check. If it is a scammer, you will not hear from this company again and you will more than likely never see the check. Scammers do not mail these checks unless they are sure you will send back the difference. Beware: They may also ask for SSN and mailing addresses for a "foreign student" who will be coming to your home to learn.