The best time to call for help is when you are suspicious, before you’ve laid out any cash.  There are public agencies that specialize in pursuing fraud.  And the sooner they get your complaint, the better their chance of catching up with the scam artist.

The following steps can help you avoid becoming a victim of fraud

  • Use direct deposit for your checks
  • Don’t sign blank checks allowing another person to fill in the amount
  • Don’t leave money or valuables in plain view
  • Don’t sign anything you don’t understand
  • Protect your money.  The bank may be able to protect your money by arranging your accounts to control access to your funds.
  • Be aware of scams.  If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
  • Don’t give anyone your ATM PIN number, and cancel your ATM card immediately if it is stolen.
  • Check your bank statements carefully for unauthorized withdrawals.
  • Be cautious of joint accounts.
  • Build good relationships with the professionals who handle your money.

The Federal Trade Commission is the nation’s consumer protection agency. The FTC works for the consumer to prevent fraudulent, deceptive and unfair business practices in the marketplace and provides information to help consumers spot, stop and avoid issues.

Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI): Information on Common Fraud Schemes


National Criminal Justice Reference Service is a federally funded resource offering justice and substance abuse information to support research, policy, and program development worldwide.

View Fake Check Scams that Could Cost You Thousands of Dollars


Auto and Home Repair Fraud - Prevention Tips


Filing Complaints


Scam of the Month


Additional Resources for Dealing with Fraud

Consumer Credit Counseling
A non-profit agency which provides free financial budgeting assistance. 1-800-330-2227

FL Senior Legal Helpline
The Florida Senior Legal Helpline is managed by Bay Area Legal Services, Inc., and staffed by attorneys and paralegals.  The program operates in partnership with legal services providers statewide, who accept referrals from the Helpline in some cases.  1-888-895-7873

Florida Attorney General Fraud Hot Line
The Fraud Hotline is for reporting suspected healthcare fraud or patient abuse, neglect or exploitation. Call (866) 966-7226 or file a complaint online at:

Palm Beach County Consumer Affairs  561-712-6600


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