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03.18.2020 / Safety « Back to all articles

3 of the Most Common Consumer Frauds
3 of the Most Common Consumer Frauds

Scam artists have been around for as long as there has been commerce.  Over time, the methods might have grown more sophisticated, but they remain just as common and dangerous.  In fact, sometimes the methods are not sophisticated at all, but extremely simple.  Knowing the most common consumer frauds can add a layer of protective skepticism when facing a potential scam.

 

Identity Theft

Identity theft might seem like a distant threat, but identities are stolen and abused every day.  Tens of millions of people suffer from this scam every year, and many of them have suffered tremendous financial damage, even after the issue is resolved. 

An identity thief will secure sensitive information from an individual, such as banking data, government identification, or essential knowledge like birthdays and passwords.  The scam artist then uses the stolen identity to take out loans, drain a bank account, or pay for luxurious items.

Often, they will set up other accounts that then legitimize further transactions.  Children are becoming more susceptible to this scam every year.  If a bill stops coming in, or when new ones arrive without prior approval, these are signs that a person’s identity may have been stolen.  Scrutinize bank statements and credit reports regularly, and guard all personal information, especially online.

 

Debit & Credit Card Fraud

If a criminal were to steal a debit or credit card, the victim would likely panic and immediately call and cancel the card.  But if a criminal had the number, security code and expiration date, as well as a little information about the victim, how would the victim know to make a change?  This happens all the time, sometimes through hacking online sources or breaking into the system of a large corporation. 

Sometimes theft becomes an opportunity of convenience. It could be as simple as a waiter or cashier taking a picture of a card and then selling or using it somewhere else.  Most card protections will alert users to strange charges, but it’s still important to be vigilant.  Try not to let any card out of sight, if at all avoidable, and be sure to keep careful accounting of all purchases.

 

Phone Fraud

This last scam is incredibly basic, but it takes many different forms.  It essentially consists of calling someone and asking them to send money.  Sometimes they pretend to be a charity after a major disaster and ask for cash only, please.  Other times they claim to represent a lottery, which the person has just won, and ask for cash to cover the taxes on the winnings. 

Many people at one time or another has had the “billing department” call and demand immediate payment for an unspecified bill that is past due.  Scam artists know this and take full advantage of unsuspecting victims who are afraid that their credit will be damaged with a late payment. 

All of these scams have the same end goal: to deceive and steal.  To protect yourself, never send money to anyone over the phone unless you know him or her, and you can prove who they are.  Be suspicious when someone asks for cash that cannot be traced once withdrawn, and do not be intimidated by harsh demands.  Stay vigilant and wary to avoid becoming a scammer’s next target.

 

11.24.2020 / Borrowing

Falling Behind on Your Mortgage? Read This
When economic times are tough, it's easy to start falling behind on crucial monthly payments, including your mortgage.…

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Loan?

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03.18.2020 / Safety « Back to all articles

3 of the Most Common Consumer Frauds
3 of the Most Common Consumer Frauds

Scam artists have been around for as long as there has been commerce.  Over time, the methods might have grown more sophisticated, but they remain just as common and dangerous.  In fact, sometimes the methods are not sophisticated at all, but extremely simple.  Knowing the most common consumer frauds can add a layer of protective skepticism when facing a potential scam.

 

Identity Theft

Identity theft might seem like a distant threat, but identities are stolen and abused every day.  Tens of millions of people suffer from this scam every year, and many of them have suffered tremendous financial damage, even after the issue is resolved. 

An identity thief will secure sensitive information from an individual, such as banking data, government identification, or essential knowledge like birthdays and passwords.  The scam artist then uses the stolen identity to take out loans, drain a bank account, or pay for luxurious items.

Often, they will set up other accounts that then legitimize further transactions.  Children are becoming more susceptible to this scam every year.  If a bill stops coming in, or when new ones arrive without prior approval, these are signs that a person’s identity may have been stolen.  Scrutinize bank statements and credit reports regularly, and guard all personal information, especially online.

 

Debit & Credit Card Fraud

If a criminal were to steal a debit or credit card, the victim would likely panic and immediately call and cancel the card.  But if a criminal had the number, security code and expiration date, as well as a little information about the victim, how would the victim know to make a change?  This happens all the time, sometimes through hacking online sources or breaking into the system of a large corporation. 

Sometimes theft becomes an opportunity of convenience. It could be as simple as a waiter or cashier taking a picture of a card and then selling or using it somewhere else.  Most card protections will alert users to strange charges, but it’s still important to be vigilant.  Try not to let any card out of sight, if at all avoidable, and be sure to keep careful accounting of all purchases.

 

Phone Fraud

This last scam is incredibly basic, but it takes many different forms.  It essentially consists of calling someone and asking them to send money.  Sometimes they pretend to be a charity after a major disaster and ask for cash only, please.  Other times they claim to represent a lottery, which the person has just won, and ask for cash to cover the taxes on the winnings. 

Many people at one time or another has had the “billing department” call and demand immediate payment for an unspecified bill that is past due.  Scam artists know this and take full advantage of unsuspecting victims who are afraid that their credit will be damaged with a late payment. 

All of these scams have the same end goal: to deceive and steal.  To protect yourself, never send money to anyone over the phone unless you know him or her, and you can prove who they are.  Be suspicious when someone asks for cash that cannot be traced once withdrawn, and do not be intimidated by harsh demands.  Stay vigilant and wary to avoid becoming a scammer’s next target.

 

Need a
Loan?

Loans from $120 to $15,000. Get funded as soon as today!

11.24.2020 / Borrowing

Falling Behind on Your Mortgage? Read This
When economic times are tough, it's easy to start falling behind on crucial monthly payments, including your mortgage.…