There were 25 victims of fraud in Anacortes from January to July of this year. Twenty-five instances where something of value was taken from someone in a fraudulent way.
In some cases, con artists played on emotions and manipulated their victims into purchasing or funding their fraudulent endeavors by calling, mailing, or emailing information that lead to financial loss and/or disclosure of sensitive account information. This may come as a surprise to you as Anacortes is at the end of the map and seemingly protected from con artists. However, technology has created a cyber-bridge that provides ready access to citizens in our town with a phone, address, or internet connection.
Each of us has a responsibility to be vigilant at protecting what is important to us. Several Fraud Friday excerpts have covered tips for preventing fraud—updating antivirus software on your computer; creating strong passwords; locking your car. All of these steps are very important. An additional step you can take if you have received fraudulent calls, mail, or email, is to report it to www.ic3.gov. The IC3 (Internet Crime Complaint Center) works with the FBI and National White Collar Crime Center to receive, develop, and refer cybercrime complaints from individuals and businesses who have fallen prey to, or been contacted by, someone representing a fraudulent organization such as a charity or foreign lottery you have never heard of.
Is there a high pressure salesman who will not leave you alone until you make an immediate decision? Has someone offered to “repair” your credit for an advanced fee? Hang up and report it to www.ic3.gov. The IC3 took over a quarter million consumer complaints of fraud or attempted fraud in 2013. No one is immune. Take the extra step to report fraud—protect yourself and the next potential victim. As always, especially if something of value was lost, call 911 to report it to Anacortes Police.