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The Hanover Police Department investigates a wide variety of crimes. One of the most common types of crimes reported to the Hanover Police is Fraud. Identity Theft, Credit Card Fraud, and Get Rich Quick Schemes are just a few examples of re-occurring fraud complaints that the Hanover Police routinely investigates.
Almost all frauds can be prevented through education, awareness, and common sense, as well as with vigilance in taking precautions that make fraud harder for criminals to commit. In most instances, fraud is committed against people who either let their guard down or become complacent in their daily routines. In almost every fraud case, it is the victim that provides the criminal with the information that they need to commit the fraud.
Internet / Telephone Fraud
The internet and telephone are the most common tools used by criminals to perpetrate fraud. The easiest way to avoid Internet or Telephone Fraud is not to provide personal information by either computer or telephone. Keep in mind, a financial institution will rarely, if ever, initiate contact with a customer and request personal information through the use of the telephone or the internet.
Internet and Telephone Fraud is typically carried out by the criminal contacting the victim and soliciting information under the guise that they are either directly known to the victim, or otherwise should be trusted by the victim because of the caller's position or affiliation. The criminal then directs the victim to provide needed information to clear up some type of problem.
The simplest way to avoid Internet and Telephone Fraud is not to provide personal information by computer or telephone. If you conduct business over the internet, ensure that you have a secure link when you transmit information and that you are dealing with a legitimate website.
Credit / Debit Card Fraud
In today's day and age, credit and debit card purchases are just as common as cash transactions. Credit and Debit Card Fraud is typically done at ATMs, restaurants, and businesses, but may occur over the internet. In most instances, the theft of the information on your card occurs right in front of you. Maintaining positive control over your credit cards is the best method of preventing Credit or Debit Card Fraud. This not only includes knowing where your card is at all times but also monitoring the bills that you receive and throw away in the trash.
"Skimming", "Shoulder Surfing", and "Dumpster Diving" are all terms associated with Credit and Debit Card Fraud. The information contained on the magnetic strip on the back of your card includes all of your personal information as well as the data needed to connect the card to your specific account. Most of this information is also available by reviewing your monthly billing statement. Destroying or securing your monthly statements eliminates the chances of Dumpster Diving; which is when a criminal goes through your trash to find account information.
In Skimming, the criminals use a card reader to capture the information from the magnetic strip on the back of your card. Never hand over your card to someone else or lose visual sight of the card when making purchases unless absolutely necessary. It only takes a second for a criminal to swipe the card through a skimmer and steal your information. Do not make it easy for them by allowing your card to leave your sight. Question whenever someone has to swipe your card more than once, especially if they use different swipe machines to complete the same transaction.
With Shoulder Surfing, always be mindful of people standing behind you at ATMs or when you enter your PIN for a transaction. If they are trying to see what you enter for a PIN, this could be Shoulder Surfing.