It's hard to find any easy way to tell if you're a fraud.But if you don't know your credit scores, it's likely that you'll fall victim to scams.To find out, here's how to get a clear picture of your creditworthiness.What you need to knowBefore you can start, you need a clear understanding of your score.A lot of credit scoring companies, such as Equifax and TransUnion, use a combination of scoring ...
In October, 2017, a woman received a fake invoice for a purchase of $1,000 at a Wal-Mart in Ontario, Canada.
When she returned to the store, the fake invoice had been replaced with a receipt from the company.
After a short investigation, she found that the $1 of the purchase was actually an amount that was refunded.
In the case of this scam, the refund was a $1 coupon.
Unfortunately, this type of scam is not new.
Many times, the fraudulent nature of the transaction and the use of an inflated value are a result of a person’s naivety.
In a study published in 2016, researchers found that fraudsters used an “intellectual property” exemption to avoid paying taxes on purchases made through a website, a scam that can lead to fines of up to $5,000.
If you think you’ve been scammed, take a look at the following tips.
Make sure you are the rightful owner of the payment You should be the rightful holder of the credit card or debit card you used to purchase the item, according to the National Credit Reporting Association.
It is your responsibility to make sure that the person you are buying from has the right to use that card or credit card.
To learn more about who has the authority to use your card, visit the National Retail Credit Reporting Agency’s website.
Pay the cash upfront Instead of paying cash upfront, you can usually negotiate a price for the goods and services you are purchasing, and then pay with a credit card, bank account, or other payment option.
Avoid the checkout line The checkout line can be confusing to many customers, so you should always follow the directions for using a payment method and do not enter any information that may be required.
Look for an experienced customer service representative The first step to preventing fraud is to contact the seller immediately to verify that they are legitimate.
If the seller is not a trained professional, it is best to contact them through an online customer service agency, such as Credit.com, Experian, or TransUnion.
Do not buy anything on a credit report You should always be aware of the fact that credit reports can be used to identify fraudulent transactions, so always read the credit report carefully.
When you contact a seller, they will usually ask you for proof of identity, such a proof of address or a copy of a bank statement.
Check the website You can also check the website of the company you are dealing with to see if they have a “buy now” option.
When purchasing from a seller on the website, it may not be obvious that the seller can’t make the purchase.
Also, when a seller sells items on their website, the buyer should check to see that the items have been shipped to the seller.
If a seller has not provided the seller with a shipping address, they can still be subject to a charge for shipping if they are selling from a shipping company that cannot ship the item.
Know the risks of shopping online If you do not understand a seller’s terms and conditions, you should never buy an item.
There are a number of risks that come with online shopping, including the possibility of fraud, misuse of credit, and a lack of customer service.
To protect yourself, check with a financial institution or credit reporting agency for more information about the risks that you can face.
Be careful when buying online The online shopping experience is often very different from the offline one.
This is especially true when it comes to purchasing from companies that have an online reputation, such in the United States.
Be aware of who you are interacting with online, and make sure you understand the risks involved.
Contact a credit reporting company if you have questions about a purchase online When you are browsing a website for a specific product or service, it can be tempting to buy items from a third party.
This could be a good time to contact a reputable third party and ask questions.
For example, if you are interested in purchasing a car, you may want to make a note of what kind of financing options are available and the credit score they have on file.
However, if a company is known for selling fraudulent products, such one might be a less attractive option.
You may also want to ask the company for a copy or a description of the product or services, as well as the seller’s contact information.
To find out more about the ways to protect yourself from online scams, see the following resources: