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Protect yourself and others from fraud and exploitation


Protecting yourself and others from fraud starts with prevention. Review these steps and resources to protect yourself and others from fraud and exploitation.

​​ Check the license of the person or company you are working with on new investments, buying insurance, or applying for a payday loan.

The Oregon Construction Contractors Board licenses construction contractors. Before hiring a contractor, check the license and review the board’s Buyer Beware list.

If an industry does not have licensing requirements, get references and check reviews online. Do not pay in cash, gift cards, or money transfers, and do not pay the full amount until the work is done to your satisfaction.

Finally, do not trust verbal agreements. Be sure to get commitments in writing.

  • Contacts you out of the blue
  • Claims there is an emergency
  • Asks for personal information
  • Requests a wire transfer
  • Asks you to buy a gift card
  • Says you won a lottery you never entered
  • Tells you to keep it a secret
  • Claims they are the federal government; they are not
  • ​If it sounds too good to be true, it is

  • They have unknown charges on their credit card or withdrawals from their bank account
  • They are excited about a secret cure, a great investment, or a long-distance romance
  • They make uncharacteristic purchases or give unusual gifts to caregivers or others
  • They fail to pay bills or keep appointments
  • They fear a family member will put them in a nursing home
  • They worry someone changed their mortgage, trust deed, or will without them knowing
  • They are defensive, deny a problem, do not want to report, and show fear of being embarrassed​

1. Sign up for the National Do Not Call Registry.​​

​​2. Do not answer the phone if you do not know the caller. If you do answer, hang up if it is a robot, a stranger, or someone pressuring you.

3. If you do not know the sender, do not respond to texts, emails, or click on a link.​​

​​4. Question everything. If you do not understand something, do not sign it or agree to it.

5. Use good judgment. Ask yourself, “Why is this person being pushy or telling me it’s a secret or a limited-time offer?”​​

​​6. Double check if you receive a call or email from your bank or credit card company. Look up the bank or credit card company’s phone number, and call to verify the validity of the inquiry.

​​7. Never give personal identifying information to strangers.

​​8. Ask your credit card company and bank if they can put a fraud alert on your accounts.

​​9. Monitor your financial accounts regularly.

10. Shred all discarded paperwork and credit card offers with a document shredder.​​

​​11. Use direct deposit.

12. Check your three credit reports each year, and put a credit freeze on your credit files.​​

13. Conduct reference checks for caregivers, or hire them through reputable agencies.​​

​​14. Consider enlisting a trusted family member or reputable bill-paying service. Contact your local Area Agency on Aging for help with routine payments.

15. Execute a power of attorney only if you have someone you trust completely, and only after consulting with an attorney. Be sure to ask about gifting clauses, and limit the power you give your selected person. Only grant authority that is necessary.​​

16. Never sell or give away real estate without consulting an attorney.​​

17. ​To spot a lottery prize scam, keep track of lotteries or contests you enter.​​

  • Recently losing a spouse or partner.
  • Social isolation, depression, or loneliness.
  • A recent change in health.
  • Being dependent on someone for care, such as shopping, transportation, and hygiene.
  • Being financial responsible for an adult child, grandchild, or other family member.
  • Feeling overwhelmed managing debt, paying bills, or making financial decisions.
  • Making frequent money mistakes or regularly running out of money.
  • Having a problem with gambling or substance abuse.
  • Willing to listen to telemarketing or calls from strangers, attend “free lunch” seminars, or investigate work-at-home opportunities or sweepstakes.
  • ​Experiencing pressure from children, caregivers, or others to share money or change will.

Reporting helps stop the crimes, and sometimes can help the victim recover losses. Everyone can help report and mandatory reporters can report here.

​​​​​​​​Questions or complaints?

File a complaint online or contact us:

Consumer Hotline
888-877-4894 (toll-free)


Financial services


Securities and investments



There is help for victims of scams, fraud, and exploitation. Find resources to help recover here.

​​​​​Check a license

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