Test your knowledge of common frauds

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Con artists are very good at tricking consumers into parting with money or divulging personal information that can be used to steal funds or run up thousands of dollars in fraudulent credit card charges.

How good are you at telling a scam from a legitimate offer or advertisement? Take the following quiz to see. Correct answers follow.


1. You agree to sell your valuable collection of superhero comic books from the 1960s to a complete stranger who mails you a cashier’s check. Because you want to be sure the check is "good" before you part with your prized possessions, you should:

(a) Confirm that the dollar amount and your name on the check are correct. Apart from that, cashier’s checks are always safe to accept.

(b) Deposit the check into your bank account and wait at least two business days before letting go of the items.

(c) Contact the bank that issued the cashier’s check to make sure the check is legitimate.

2. You agree to rent your vacation house to a far-away stranger who sends you a check as a deposit, but when the check arrives, it’s for more money than you agreed upon. The person apologizes and asks you to deposit the check and wire back the difference. This is:

(a) Safe for you to do because you’ll be depositing a check for more money than you expected anyway.

(b) Safe for you to do because, if there’s a problem, money sent by wire is very easy to recover.

(c) Likely to be a scam.

3. You’ve just realized that your ATM/debit card has been lost or stolen. To get the maximum legal protection against losses from unauthorized withdrawals, you should notify your bank:

(a) Within two business days of discovering the card missing.

(b) Within 10 business days.

(c) Before your next statement arrives, even if that is weeks later.

4. A company offering to rescue your home from foreclosure may be running a scam if it:

(a) Says it will stop the foreclosure from taking place.

(b) Suggests that you transfer ownership of the home to the company so you can rent and buy the property back from them.

(c) Advises you to stop talking to your lender, lawyer or housing counselor.

(d) Any of the above.

5. Your credit report may suggest that you have been a victim of identity theft if it shows:

(a) You have a credit card, loan or lease in your name that you know you don’t have.

(b) A company you never tried to do business with has requested a copy of your credit report.

(c) A home address for you that you never had.

(d) Any of the above.

Link to Quiz Answers

Excerpted from the Fall 2010 issue of FDIC Consumer News. To read the full story online, go to www.fdic.gov/consumers/consumer/news/cnfall10/fraudquiz.html.