Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Too Good To Be True?

One of the issues I'm constantly confronting is user education. Contacts I have with local law enforcement tell me that burglaries are at an all time low (it's just too much work to steal a 6 foot widescreen HDTV) while identity theft and internet fraud are at epidemic proportions.

So I was glad to find this website, Looks Too Good To Be True. It's sponsored by the United States Postal Service and offers a host of user-friendly and absolutely free training services. You don't even have to pay postage.

My favorites are the seven free DVD's they offer. You have to register to get them, but the price is right (did I mention, they're free?):

All the King's Men: Picking Up the Pieces
Fraud schemes victimize millions of Americans each year, leaving many financially devastated. There are laws to protect victims and services and support available to them. The U.S. Postal Inspection Service urges victims to learn more about their rights and services by ordering our free DVD. Remember, being a victim of a crime is nothing to be ashamed of. And neither is seeking help to recover from it.

Nowhere to Run: Cross-Border Fraud
The Internet and international phone calls make it easy for fraudsters to work from anywhere in the world. This film illustrates how U.S. Postal Inspectors created task forces with Canadian law enforcement partners to stop "long distance" scams.

Web of Deceit: Internet Fraud
Internet scams are like old wine in new bottles. Telemarketing and mail fraud scams are now coming to you from cyberspace. This DVD tells the story of a scammer who uses the Internet to victimize unsuspecting consumers around the world until he gets caught in his own web of deceit. The DVD also provides tips on what to watch out for when you do business on the Internet.

Long Shot: Foreign Lottery Scams
It's illegal to play foreign lotteries in the United States. But another reason not to play is that you are almost guaranteed to lose. And once you play, you can count on receiving more "chances" to play and lose. This free DVD tells the story of a foreign lottery fraud victim and the con artist behind the scam. Produced by High Noon Film and presented by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, it also provides tips on helping you avoid becoming a victim of this scam.

Work-at-Home Scams: They Just Don't Pay
Working at home has become attractive to many stay-at-home moms, college students, and retirees. While some jobs are legitimate, others just don't deliver on their promises. This free, short film tells the story of a new type of work-at-home scam and how a young mother gets caught up in it. It also provides tips on how you can avoid being duped by criminals and what to do if you've been victimized. This High Noon Film is presented by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.

Identity Crisis: Protect Your Identity
Identity fraud is the fastest-growing crime in America. With millions of victims and losses in the billions of dollars, it continues to be one of consumers' biggest fears. This free DVD tells the story of a couple whose credit is ruined and of the criminals who defrauded them. The DVD by High Noon Film, presented by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, also provides tips on how to protect yourself against identity fraud -- and what to do if you become a victim.

Delivering Justice: Dialing for Dollars
Telemarketing fraud costs Americans millions of dollars each year. And when it comes to phony investment "opportunities," older Americans are prime targets. This free, 15-minute DVD tells the story of such a scam and the lives that are ruined by criminals. The film provides tips on how to protect yourself from investment fraud and tells you what to do if you've been victimized. "Dialing for Dollars" is a High Noon film presented by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.

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