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Information Articles for the Paris TN and Henry County Tennessee area

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Information Articles for the Paris TN and Henry County Tennessee area

TDCI Urges Consumers to Be Aware of Common Holiday Scams

December 4, 2017

Tennessee Division of Consumer Affairs Shares Tips to Help Tennesseans Protect Personal Info, Finances

Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance – TDCINashville, TN – With the hustle and bustle of the holidays well underway, the Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance’s (TDCI) Division of Consumer Affairs is warning consumers to be wary of holiday-themed scams during this season of giving.

Scams

Because scammers use the holidays to prey upon the good nature of others, Tennesseans are urged to guard their personal information carefully and stay informed of the latest schemes and swindles.

TDCI reminds consumers that “if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is” remains one of the best guidelines when it comes to avoiding scams.
TDCI offers the following additional precautions to help Tennesseans fight back against scam artists:

Be suspicious of anyone requiring you to send money with prepaid money cards.
Be suspicious of apps, online advertisements, or websites offering prices that seem suspiciously lower than retail prices at trusted retailers.
Consider paying with a credit card that offers fraud protection when possible.
Only shop on secure websites. Look for https in the address (the extra “s” is for “secure”) and for a lock symbol.

When it comes to charitable giving, remember:

Don’t assume that charity recommendations on social media platforms or blogs have already been vetted. Research the charity yourself.
Find out what percentage of your donation will go to the charity and whether you will be charged any fees for making a donation through a fundraising platform website.
Check to see if the charity is registered with the Tennessee Secretary of State.
Be cautious when looking to give to charities that pop up soon after a tragedy or natural disaster.
Websites posing as charities can sometimes look identical to the real organization. These fraudulent websites will often ask for personal or financial information over an unsecure connection or may download harmful malware into your computer. Look for a padlock symbol or “https” before the web address indicating that it is secure.
Avoid being pressured to make an immediate donation. Don’t hesitate to ask questions to get more information.
If you didn’t initiate contact, avoid giving personal or financial information over the phone.
Never write out a check or give cash to an individual solicitor. Write out checks to the name of the organization or use a credit card.

[320right]Many holiday scams involve phishing.

Phishing is the act of tricking consumers into revealing information or performing actions they wouldn’t normally do online using phony email or social media posts.

Cyberscammers tailor their emails and social messages with holiday themes in the hopes of tricking recipients into revealing personal information.
The Division of Consumer Affairs encourages consumers to be familiar with these common holiday scams:

UPS phishing scams: A phony notice from UPS says you have a package and need to fill out an attached form to get it delivered. The form may ask for personal or financial details that will go straight into the hands of the cyberscammer.
Banking phishing scams: Cybercriminals craft emails to look like notices sent by actual banks in hopes of scamming busy and distracted consumers into providing their online banking usernames and passwords.
SMS phishing scams: Scammers send fake messages via a text alert to a phone, notifying an unsuspecting consumer that his bank account has been compromised. The cybercriminals then direct the consumer to call a phone number to get it re-activated—and collects the user’s personal information including Social Security number, address, and account details.

E-card scams: While sending electronic cards can be convenient and fun, beware if you must share additional information to open the card, or if the sender’s name is not apparent.
Holiday job scams: Retailers and delivery services need extra help at the holidays, but beware of solicitations that require you to share personal information online or pay for a job lead. Apply in person or go to retailers’ main websites to find out who is hiring.
Letters from Santa scams: Several trusted companies offer charming and personalized letters from Santa, but scammers mimic them to get personal information from unsuspecting parents. Check with www.bbb.org to find out which ones are legitimate.
Family emergency scams: Be cautious if you get a call or email from a family member or friend claiming to be in an accident, arrested, or hospitalized while traveling in another country. Never send money unless you confirm with another family member that it’s true.

If you have been contacted by or fallen victim to a charity scam, report it to the Division of Charitable Solicitations, Fantasy Sports and Gaming at the Secretary of State’s Office; the Federal Trade Commission; your local police department or law enforcement agency; and your bank or credit card company if applicable.

If you are aware of any false, misleading or deceptive fundraising activity, please notify the Division of Charitable Solicitations, Fantasy Sports and Gaming immediately at (615) 741-2555 and ask to speak with an investigator. In addition to speaking with an investigator, please submit a complaint form.

For more scam-fighting resources, visit the TDCI Division of Consumer Affairs website. You can also check what scams are being reported in your area, the state, and across the country by accessing the Better Business Bureau’s Scam Tracker.

About the Tennessee Department of Commerce & Insurance

TDCI protects the interests of consumers while providing fair, efficient oversight and a level field of competition for a broad array of industries and professionals doing business in Tennessee. Our divisions include the State Fire Marshal’s Office, Insurance, Securities, Consumer Affairs, Tennessee Law Enforcement Training Academy, Regulatory Boards, Tennessee Emergency Communications Board, Tennessee Corrections Institute, and TennCare Oversight.

Tennessee Consumer Affairs Do’s & Don’ts in Wake of Equifax Data Breach

September 25, 2017

Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance - TDCINashville, TN – With over 3 million Tennesseans’ sensitive information exposed in a data breach at the credit reporting firm Equifax, the Tennessee Department of Commerce & Insurance’s (TDCI) Consumer Affairs Division wants to help vulnerable consumers plan a course of action to protect themselves from scammers aiming to mine their data through bogus websites and phishing calls.  

According to Equifax, the breach lasted from mid-May through July and exposed the data of over 143 million Americans.

According to Equifax, the breach lasted from mid-May through July and exposed the data of over 143 million Americans.

[Read more]

TDCI Offers Tips to Help Students Avoid Job Scams

August 2, 2017

Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance - TDCINashville, TN – Finding a student job that’s flexible with school schedules can often be difficult. While they do exist, there are some job offers that really are too good to be true.

As the fall school semester approaches, the Tennessee Department of Commerce & Insurance’s (TDCI) Division of Consumer Affairs wants to equip students with the basic knowledge needed to avoid job scams.

Scams [Read more]

Tennessee Consumer Affairs says Beware Vacation Rental Scams

June 8, 2016

Tennessee Division of Consumer AffairsNashville, TN – Summertime is the ideal season for road trips and mini-vacations. However, traveling away from the security and protection of your home can make you vulnerable to scammers and identity thieves.

The Tennessee Department of Commerce & Insurance’s (TDCI) Division of Consumer Affairs offers tips to help consumers avoid vacation rental scams when preparing for fun during the summer season.

Scams [Read more]

Tennessee Regulatory Authority (TRA) Imposes Fine For Violations of Do Not Call Law

April 20, 2016

Tennessee Regulatory AuthorityNashville, TN – The Tennessee Regulatory Authority (TRA) along with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and nine other states filed a complaint against Caribbean Cruise Line, Inc. for violating the Tennessee and federal Do Not Call Telemarketing laws and has issued a fine in the amount of $500,000.

Both telemarketing laws were established to prohibit unwanted telephone solicitation calls to consumers.

Tennessee Do Not Call Program

Tennessee Do Not Call Program

[Read more]

Consumer Affairs Releases Top 10 Imposter Scams of 2015 – See more at: https://www.tn.gov/news/23731#sthash.xTBBacj3.dpuf

January 30, 2016

Tennessee Division of Consumer AffairsNashville, TN – The Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance’s (TDCI) Division of Consumer Affairs wants to warn consumers about the most commonly reported imposter scams from 2015.

“Scammers often target consumers via email or phone calls,” TDCI Deputy Commissioner Bill Giannini said. “They use deceptive tactics to manipulate people into sending money or revealing sensitive data like Social Security numbers or banking information. Tennesseans should familiarize themselves with these tactics to avoid becoming a scam victim.”

Scams [Read more]

Sweepstakes/Lottery Scams Take Aim at Tennessee Consumers

November 21, 2015

Tennessee Department of Commerce and InsuranceNashville, TN – As the holiday shopping season approaches, the Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance’s (TDCI) Division of Consumer Affairs is alerting Tennessee consumers to be on high alert for fraudulent sweepstakes and lottery offers they may receive via mail, phone, or social media.

Scam Alert [Read more]

45 State Attorneys General Call on Phone Companies to Help Stop Robocalls

July 26, 2015

Pressure Builds for Phone Carriers to Provide Customers With Call-Blocking Tools

Consumer ReportsYonkers, NYAttorneys General from 45 states around the country called on the major phone companies today to provide their customers with effective tools to help stop the flood of unwanted robocalls.

The effort comes just weeks after the Federal Communications Commission made clear that phone companies can and should offer such tools and as nearly 330,000 Americans have joined Consumers Union’s End Robocalls campaign calling on them to do so. [Read more]

TDCI Clues in Consumers about “Mystery Shopper” Scams

July 25, 2015

Consumers Should Be Wary of Mystery Shopping Solicitations, Ads

Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance - TDCINashville, TN – The Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance (TDCI) Division of Consumer Affairs is warning Tennessee consumers to be wary of mystery shopper scams.

Sometimes retailers hire consumers to secretly evaluate their stores’ customer service – a practice commonly known as “mystery shopping,” or “secret shopping.” But unscrupulous mystery shopping scams can leave consumers holding the bag. In Tennessee, the Division of Consumer Affairs has fielded four consumer complaints since July 2014 related to mystery shopping scams.

Scam Alert [Read more]

Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security Identity Crimes Unit Warns Citizens of Identity Theft during Holidays

November 30, 2014

Identity Crimes Unit Offers Tips for Protection

Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland SecurityNashville, TN – The Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security’s Identity Crimes Unit urges all citizens to protect themselves against identity crimes, including theft and fraud, this holiday season.

“Millions of shoppers will take advantage of ‘Black Friday’ or ‘Cyber Monday’ holiday sales this year. We just want to encourage consumers to take extra precautions to prevent fraudulent use of their personal information,” Tennessee Highway Patrol Major Stacy Williams said. He oversees the department’s Identity Crimes Unit. [Read more]

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