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Consumer Issues

Federal Trade Commission Scams Guidelines

The FTC site in general has links to many resources about such issues as dealing eith E-commerce sites violating their privacy policies -

The following section from the above web site is worth repeating -

Protect Yourself

Never give out personal information — including your bank account or credit card numbers — over the phone or online unless you’re familiar with the business and have initiated the contact. Scam artists have a way with words. Don’t fall for lines from strangers telling you how to "verify" their identity. Scam artists can use your personal information to commit fraud against you.

Be on the alert for unauthorized charges to your credit card. If you haven’t authorized a charge, don’t pay it — dispute it. Follow your credit card issuer’s procedures for disputing a charge.

If you notice unauthorized debits to your checking or savings account, contact your financial institution immediately.

Have questions? Call your financial institution.

Ask your financial service provider about its plans to deal with emergencies. If you’re not comfortable with the response, consider doing business elsewhere.

Ask your provider about contingency plans for system failures.

If you don’t normally maintain financial records, you may want to consider doing so in preparation for the Year 2000. That way you’ll have proof if something happens to the computerized records. At a minimum, keep a six-month paper trail — three months before and after the date change — on significant transactions, such as mortgages, stocks and insurance.

Make sure your deposit receipts and periodic statements are accurate. Report discrepancies to your institution.

Keep canceled checks, bank statements, and check registers as proof of payment for at least several months before and after the date change. If you bank by computer, download your transaction records and store them on a backup disk. You also may want to print out downloaded records in case backup disks are contaminated.

Keep credit card receipts for purchases and cash advances made on or around January 1, 2000. Compare them against your billing statements. Report discrepancies to your card issuer.

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