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Our mission is to protect the public interest, advocate for Minnesota consumers, ensure a strong, competitive and fair marketplace, strengthen the state’s economic future; and serve as a trusted public resource for consumers and businesses.

Want to fight fraud? Just hang up!

3/8/2016 1:21:22 PM

lady hanging up the phone

lady hanging up the phone

As part of National Consumer Protection Week, Commerce is reminding Minnesotans of their rights as consumers and how to prevent fraud. Telephone scams are an increasingly prevalent form of fraud. The ordinary telephone is today's weapon of choice for criminals. 

One of the most common complaints reported by seniors and their loved ones is how often they encounters scams and fraudulent schemes over the phone. Common examples of fraud:

  • I’m calling from Microsoft and it appears you have a virus…”
  • “You’ve won a foreign lottery and you just need to send money to claim your winnings…”
  • “This investment is low risk and high return.”
  • “This offer is good for today only.”
  • “This is your grandson and I’m in jail and need bail money.”
  • “You owe money and face serious consequences.”

Scammers use public information to find out your name and phone number. They often use scare tactics to get you to send money, provide personal information, or gain access to your computer. 

If someone calls and wants you to hand over money, be very suspicious. Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Hang up on fraud:

  1. End the call: Don't be a "courtesy victim." When it comes to protecting yourself, there is no such thing as being rude. Just end the conversation and hang up the phone.
  2. Phone a friend: If you are confused or concerned by a phone call, contact a trusted friend or family member for advice. Don't let a caller rush you into making a decision.
  3. Report the fraud: We can't stop fraud that we don't know about. Call us and report the fraud so that other don't become victims. You can contact the Consumer Services Center at 651-539-1600 or 1-800-657-3602 (Greater Minnesota only) or by email at consumer.protection.@state.mn.us.

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