Millions of dollars are lost yearly to various types of financial fraud and money scams in the US. With the dramatic increase in online banking and shopping, we have become easy targets for hackers skilled at targeting vulnerable and unsuspecting victims. You can protect yourself and reduce your risk of becoming a victim in many ways. Learning as much as possible about the different types of fraud and money scams is essential. You should always be diligent and aware of what is going on.
Common Types of Financial Fraud
There are many types of financial fraud. Identity theft and Ponzi schemes are two of the most common types of fraud. Phishing, tax refunds, advance fees, and credit card fraud can also be costly. Many hackers use data breaches and online tactics to obtain their potential victim’s confidential information. Once they have it, they can create new lines of credit, drain your bank accounts, and assume your identity in many ways. They can even lock you out of all your accounts. Two-factor authentication, fingerprint technology, and encryption help prevent cyber hackers and other scammers.
Avoiding Fraud and Other Suspicious Activities
Be aware! Take the time to monitor your credit reports carefully, and only use secure websites when performing online transactions. You can also put flags on your credit reports so that you must be contacted by phone before any new lines of credit can be opened. Use two-factor authentication and fingerprint technology to keep your accounts as secure as possible. Change your passwords frequently, and never give out your personal information.
Information You Need to Know
Learn as much as you can about potential scams. Don’t respond to unsolicited investment or loan offers. Never click on links in emails or Facebook posts. Always upgrade your software frequently and use a reputable online virus program on all your electronic devices. With almost half of all emails being spam, it’s in your best interest to always be mindful when filling out forms or responding to queries.
What to Do If You’ve Been Scammed and How to Report Suspicious Activity
You may get only some of your money back if you have been scammed. It will depend on several factors. You will need to call the authorities if you believe you have lost money to hackers or if you believe you have uncovered suspicious activity of any kind. Filing a report will also ensure that others will be made aware of the activity, and they should take immediate action to protect themselves.
Guard Against Financial Fraud and Scams with Insights from the Economic Development Collaborative