Law enforcement officials in Jersey are expressing concern about an increasing number of scams and flim-flam operations across the Garden State.

State Attorney General Jeff Chiesa says, “With the economic conditions we have right now, people are more likely to see these types of scams right now. So we really want them to be vigilant about it…If people get the sense that they’re being sold something that doesn’t make sense – it sounds too good to be true – it probably is…People really need to do their homework, they need to do their due diligence because it’s much harder after the money has left their hands to get the money back.”

He says if someone is trying to get you to invest money in something “you can contact our Bureau of Securities – they do a great job- we have registration information so we can check to see if they’re legitimate people who have registered -who have done all the things they’re supposed to be doing, if they’re real business people…The number they can call…is 1-866- I-invest – 1-866- the letter I – invest…They can check them out and give you follow up questions to ask, or tell you it’s a legitimate outfit- they’ve been doing business in New Jersey for 25 years – or whatever the time frame may be.”

Chiesa adds it’s much better for consumers to get information up front, “So they can make an informed decision and they can rely on the Bureau of Securities to give them information about the people they’re trying to see if they should be doing business with.”

He also stresses, “People should never be giving away identifying information – email addresses, social security numbers, drivers license numbers – unless they’re absolutely convinced that the people that they’re giving it to can be trusted. Because once that information leaves their hands, there’s all kinds of bad things that can be done with it…Credit cards can be opened in their names, other kinds of credit – so no matter what kind of scam it may be, people need to do their homework, people need to ask all the right questions, and people need to say – I’ll get back to you.”