Amazon Small Business Sweepstakes Scam – If you have been scammed, please fill out a consumer complaint form at de.gov/consumercomplaint or by phone at (800) 220-5424.
Fraudsters use modern methods to deceive members of our society, including the most vulnerable among us. But in reality, anyone can be a victim. Our Customer Protection Department provides tips and advice to users on how to reduce the risk of fraud. We strongly encourage consumers to visit the Federal Trade Commission website and/or the Delaware Better Business Bureau website to learn about different scams and how to report them.
Amazon Small Business Sweepstakes Scam
Phishers use a victim’s personal information (for example, Social Security number, bank account information, and credit card numbers) to impersonate that person for their own benefit. Using a real target, a thief can open a bank account, drain a current account, file a tax return, or get coverage.
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Do not give your social security number, credit card number, bank account number, or any other personal or financial information to anyone you do not know. And keep all your receipts—especially if they show your account numbers.
Avoid dealing with businesses you don’t know, especially if their offers come to you via email or phone calls from people you don’t know. No matter how good the deal is, walk away. Identity thieves often make business deals to ensure they can easily attract victims.
Shred old documents that contain confidential personal and financial information. Update passwords regularly to strengthen security and reduce the risk of foul play. Check your credit report regularly.
Evidence of identity theft often appears before the victim realizes what has happened. Criminals often try to get credit under other people’s names or social security numbers, and these attempts show up on credit bureau reports.
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Get 6 free credit reports per year through 2026 by visiting www.annualcreditreport.com, by phone at 877-322-8228, or send your request to Annual Credit Report Request Service, P.O. Box 10521, Atlanta, GA 30348-5281.
If you feel uncomfortable doing business with someone or feel pressured to give out your personal information, walk away. It is better to take the time to think through the offer and to do more research than to hand over personal or financial information to a criminal. Legitimate businesses want your repeat business, and will be happy to give you time to get your business up and running.
If you are a victim of Identity Theft, the Attorney General recommends that you take the following steps immediately:
The first step you should take is to report it to your local police department. This step is important for two reasons: First, it immediately alerts local law enforcement about the crime. Second, it proves that you have done your due diligence, and allows you to obtain a police report, complaint number or other similar record, which you may need when contacting other recipients. If you are unsure which law enforcement agency to contact, please call the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division at (800) 220-5424. The Customer Protection Department can help you contact the appropriate police agency and answer any theft questions you may have.
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Because identity thieves often try to get money under your identity, it’s important to contact the major credit bureaus immediately to report the fraud. Ask any credit bureau to get a report, and put a “fraud alert” on your credit report.
Also, ask each credit bureau to send you a copy of your credit report, so you can determine the extent of any illegal credit activity that may have occurred using your identity. If you have a police report, file number, or complaint number from your local law enforcement agency, you should provide this information to the major credit bureaus as well, to help them investigate any disputes. accounts or other reports. I cheated.
Find all your credit cards, banks and other creditor information (such as utilities, cables, etc.) and contact their “fraud” departments. Report fraud to any creditor, even if your creditor account is not directly related to identity theft, to ensure that every creditor is aware of the potential for criminal activity. Ask any lender to place a “fraud alert” on your account. If there are illegal charges on your account, most creditors will also ask you to submit a written fraud report, along with a police report, or police complaint number or file number. If you need help with any of these steps, you can contact the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division at (800) 220-5424 to request a Theft Victim Identification Kit. This kit contains everything you need to report identity theft immediately, and includes a Proof of Identity Theft that you can use to submit your identity theft report to your followers.
The Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) maintains confidential, National Identity Theft data, and can help track down identity thieves through federal channels. The FTC can be reached at (877) IDTHEFT (877-438-4338)
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Our Customer Protection Division hosted a discussion on identity theft with DOJ Chief Investigator Alan Rachko, FBI Agent Benjamin Lindemann, and DOJ Assistant US Attorney Christopher Howland. This interview was conducted by Marion Quirk.
These deals often involve buying and selling, usually on eBay, Craigslist, or other direct seller sites. Fraudsters can pretend to buy something just to send a fake check and claim an “accidental” bonus refund. In some cases, if the scammer is the seller, they will not deliver the goods.
If you initiate a transaction and must provide your financial information through the organization’s website, look for signs that the site is secure, such as a URL that begins with https (“s” means secure).
You must be informed of what personal information the website operators collect, why, and how they will use the information.
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Be aware that even if you can cash a check or see the money written in your account information, it can still be fraudulent.
If a buyer or seller tries to persuade you to go outside the usual site process or payment methods, this is a big red flag 🚩.
Our Consumer Protection hosts a discussion about online shopping fraud with DOJ Special Investigator LaVincent Harris, and Better Business Bureau Director Jon Bell. This discussion is moderated by Gina Schoenberg.
Scams come in many varieties but they work the same way: a scammer pretends to be someone you trust to get you to send them money. Scammers can pretend to be anyone, such as the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Tech Support, the Social Security Administration, or even a family member.
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Our Consumer Protection Division hosted a discussion on fraud with DOJ Deputy Director of Consumer Protection Ryan Costa, Better Business Bureau Director Jon Bell, Defense Public Affairs Specialist Matt Baxter, and AARP Delaware Communications Director Kimberly Wharton. This discussion is moderated by Marion Quirk.
These complaints may include selling vehicles with unexplained problems or selling a long warranty but refusing to pay. Also, car dealers may put attractive sales on their sales, but when you try to close the deal, the deal isn’t what it used to be.
➡️ Visit the National Motor Vehicle Information System (NMVTIS) website at motorhistory.gov to get a titled report on vehicle history, insurance loss, and salvage information.
Ask for vehicle maintenance records from the owner, dealer, or repair shop. Check for outstanding vehicle calls.
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You can check for yourself by entering the VIN at safercar.gov, or by calling the National Highway Safety Administration (NHTSA) Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236.
When you receive a letter or phone call about renewing your car’s warranty, don’t take the information at face value.
Be wary of telemarketers offering car warranties using pressure tactics to hide their true intentions. Most legitimate businesses will give you time and written information about the offer before asking you to buy.
If your phone number is on the National Call Register, you should not receive live marketing communications unless you agree to receive such calls.
Fake Check Scams Infographic
Report abuse or register a phone number with the National Do Not Call Registry at DoNotCall.gov or call 1-888-383-1222.
Our Consumer Protection Division hosted a discussion on auto fraud with Deputy Attorney General George Lees, DOJ CPU Special Investigator LaVincent Harris, and Motor Vehicle Division Chief of Investigations and Investigations Karen Carson. This discussion was moderated by DOJ Paralegal Diana Anderson.
Most scams have a few things in common. They claim that the recipient has won, or is about to win, a large cash prize. And they try to get the recipient to pay money, often thinking of asking for a fake gift.
➡️ You did not enter the lottery, but you received a notice or call from someone claiming to work for the Delaware Lottery.
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➡️ You received a notice or a call informing you that you won a lottery in another country.
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