Frauds & Schemes

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Frauds & SchemesPigeon Drop

This scheme accounts for more than half of the confidence games reported to police. The swindlers claim to have found a large sum of money and offer to share it with you. You are asked to withdraw "good faith" money from your bank. The swindlers take the "good faith" money and give you a phoney address where you are to collect your share of the money. You never see them again.

Door to Door Sales

Many door-to-door sales are not legitimate. The City of South San Francisco has municipal laws prohibiting door to door sales without a permit. Never allow anyone to enter your residence to talk to you further or "point out" the area in your house where they tell you their product would be useful. Protect you against quick sales at your door. Enquire and be sure.

Mail Fraud Schemes

Consumer Frauds
Beware of contests which require you to put up money to win, even if there is a guarantee that you will be a winner.

Home improvement offers
Beware of tempting home improvement offers, made through the mail or on-the- spot. These offers are a popular type of swindle.

Business Opportunities
Business opportunities such as "Mystery Shopper" and work-at-home schemes which promise high profits after a substantial investment or registration fee are often fraudulent. Often times, the "company" will send you a fraudulent check and will ask you to cash the check. The fraudulent company will then ask you to send them a portion of the check to become involved in their fraudulent operation.

For Your Protection

  • Do not rush into something involving your money or property.
  • Beware of something-for-nothing or get-rich-quick schemes.
  • Never sign a contract until you and your lawyer, banker or other expert has thoroughly read it.
  • Never turn over large sums of cash to anyone, especially a stranger, no matter how promising the deal looks.
  • Do not hesitate to check their credentials of a salesman or public official.
  • Report all suspicious offers to the police immediately, before the swindler leaves town in search of other victims.
  • Arrange for incoming checks to be sent directly to your bank.
  • Never send a Cashier's check or Personal check