Traditional frauds take place at the door, on the phone or by mail

The Traditional Frauds of Door to Door Fraud, Phone Fraud and Mail Fraud are the older, more established type. Many have been around for decades so they have been well tested and refined. It’s not surprising that they are still being used – they work!

Door to Door Fraud

Admitting someone into your abode gives them the chance to see what kind of security you have, where money may be kept and what other valuables you have. In apartment buildings, door to door frauds can include product sales and bogus repairs supposedly ordered by management.

Here are some door to door fraud scenarios:-

Scenario #1 The caller is doing work in the area and has noticed a problem with your roof/driveway etc. There is material left over so your problem can be fixed at a discounted price. A contract can be signed right away and they’ll be back to do the work tomorrow. You’re told “all that is needed is a deposit” or “give me a check now and I’ll be back with the contract tomorrow”.

Scenario #2 The caller uses a phony name for a charity, often closely related to a legitimate one. They are raising funds for victims of a current disaster in the news. Money is needed quickly and there’s no official paperwork yet because the event is so recent. They will often seek sympathy for the poor children or victims.

Scenario #3 In addition to traditional frauds, plain old simple villainy can happen at the door too. A woman knocks and wants to leave a note for your neighbour who is out. She asks for a pen and paper and when you turn to get it she follows you into the house - either to look around or to grab your purse if it’s near the door.

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Phone Fraud

Telemarketing is a legitimate way for charities to solicit donations and for businesses to seek customers. It’s estimated that only about 10% of telemarketers are fraudulent, however, phone fraud is one of the most prevalent type of traditional frauds in North America.

Here are some phone fraud scenarios:-

Scenario #1 The ‘Bank Examiner’ is one of the traditional frauds and has been around since the 1940s, but, unfortunately, it still works.

You receive a phone call from a person claiming to be a police officer or your bank manager. They say a teller is suspected of stealing money by handing out counterfeit bills. You are asked to help catch them by withdrawing money from your account so the bank can check if it’s real or not; and you agree.

You meet the bank manager/police officer outside the bank or at your house. You hand over the cash and are given a receipt that you can exchange at the bank for “real” money.

Scenario #2 The obituary notice fraud involves a phone call informing you that your late spouse/partner had ordered, let’s say, an expensive book. It is leather bound and personalized with your name and a special message. Unfortunately he/she only gave a small deposit and you are asked to pay the rest before they can send it to you.

Scenario #3 You have won a new T.V., car, free trip etc. but are asked to pay the taxes and/or the delivery charges before it can be released. The caller is not too clear about how you entered the contest. Perhaps you filled out a form at a trade show or in a store.

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Mail Fraud

Fraud through the mail is even more anonymous than the telephone since the victim often does not talk to the con artist. Con artists can rent postal boxes with addresses which seem to be from a business complex rather than a post office.

Here are some mail fraud scenarios:-

Scenario #1 One of the most well known traditional frauds is the Pyramid Scheme. You receive a written offer to make an investment that promises a quick, large profit. You have to pay a fee to join the pyramid. Then you must recruit other people to join so that you can move up the pyramid to the big pay-off. Of course there never is and never will be enough money to pay most of the investors.

Scenario #2 You receive a letter informing you that you have won fifteen thousand dollars. You are excited and show it to a friend who asks you to read the small print. The money may cost you hundreds of dollars in taxes and charges and then never arrive. Your friend points out that you do not have to pay to enter a sweepstakes or collect a prize. If you're asked to pay, the sweepstakes is a scam.

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