Never give your personal information, checking account numbers, or credit card information over the phone unless you initiate the call to a trusted number.
Always verify anyone who calls or comes to your house uninvited to provide any service. Check the phone book or call information for business numbers and call the company.
Never contract with or allow unsolicited door-to-door sales people or repair people inside your house without independent verification of who they are and whom they work for. Always get a written contract.
Do not clip or place outgoing mail on mailboxes. Use secured postal mailboxes. Retrieve your incoming mail in a timely manner. Report any questionable activities to the postal inspector.
Shred all statements, bills, cancelled checks, and anything else with your personal or account information.
Remember that it is illegal for a legitimate sweepstakes to require any money up front before paying out winnings.
Lock all your doors even when you are at home or outside working in the yard.
Remember that real friends are not after your money or your credit.
Trust your instincts - if it seems too good to be true, it probably is.
Help yourself and help your neighbors. You are our best resource, our eyes and ears. Get descriptions of people and their vehicles.
Remember that con artists are persuasive and persistent. Their schemes have many variations but they all have the same goal - gaining your confidence and your money.