Preventing Fraud & ID Theft
Fraud and Flim Flams
There are many types of fraudulent acts committed whereby innocent but uninformed individuals are made victims. It is possible, but not probable, that a con artist or swindler may approach you. The section on con artists is written to increase your awareness of these individuals and to help you safeguard against their ploys.
- Con artists are individuals who prey upon a person's natural inclinations to be helpful or to take advantage of a "windfall".
- They are usually talkative and intelligent and tend to blend into the environment in which they operate.
- Don't be fooled into believing that you can judge an individual's honesty or intentions by the way he or she is dressed and never assume that con artists are either always male or always female.
- The variations of con artistry themes are creative and abundant.
- As a rule of thumb, therefore, you should not engage in conversation with strangers.
- Approaches can vary, but more often than not, they will either claim to have discovered a substantial amount of money and to want to share it with you; be a bank examiner (or some similar position) who needs your assistance in apprehending a dishonest employee; or be in a predicament requiring use of your bank computer-access card.
- If you are approached, decline discussion and immediately report the incident to University Police or the nearest Philadelphia Police officer.
- "If it seems too good to be true, it probably is."
Deter, Detect, Defend
There are many resources available for you to prevent identity theft. Please take a moment to learn about protecting your sensitive information, monitoring your credit and utilizing the correct services should you do become a victim of identity theft.
The Office of Audit, Compliance & Privacy's website has a section specifically to address the issues of identity theft. You may view their website at: http://www.upenn.edu/privacy/identity_theft_overview_page.htm .
For information regarding the prevention and reporting of identity crimes and educational resources please visit the Federal Trade Commission's website at: http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/microsites/idtheft/become-a-partner.html
Reporting identity Theft
If you become a victim of identity theft, you can report the incident to the Penn Police Department by calling 215-573-3333 or 511 from a campus phone