Fraud is everywhere, and if you are not careful, your family or business may be the next victim. International Fraud Awareness Week runs from November 15 to 21 and this is a great time to make sure you know how to protect yourself.
How fraudsters try to deceive people
Frauds always come with new ways to deceive people, but some systems are particularly common. According to the FBI, these are some of the common scams you should watch out for:
- Advance payment system means the victim has to pay a fee in hopes of getting a reward that will never come. take advantage of people's good will to generate donations that end up in the pockets of fraud.
- Credit card fraud involves unauthorized use of credit or debit cards.
- Identity theft means assuming someone's identity for fraud.
- Ponzi scheme involves taking money from investors, not investing what is promised, and using money from subsequent investors to pay the initial investors.
- Pyramid schemes may look like legitimate businesses, but victims must recruit new victims to pay fees and keep their money flowing.
- Business e-mail compromise programs are aimed at individuals in a company to trick them into fraudulent bank transfers or other actions.
- Ransomware infects computer systems, encrypts files, and requires redemption to recover files.
- Other systems may include reverse mortgage, romance scams, fraudulent online sales and many more common tricks. See the FBI's list of common scams and crimes for more information.
If anything seems good to be true, it probably is. Scams often offer offers of simple money, free or cheap products or other offers that seem too good to pass up – until you realize it's a scam. Maintaining a healthy skepticism can help you avoid becoming the next victim.
- Was not pressured to make an immediate decision. Take the time to verify information via a third party and think about the offer.
- Be suspicious if someone asks you to make a bank transfer or pay by gift card. Frauds often require these payment methods. Never deposit a check and then withdraw the money. The check may be false, and when the bank finally discovers this, you will be on the hook for the loss.
- Educate yourself. The Association of Certified Fraud Examiners has compiled resources for Fraud Awareness Week including infographics, checklists and other materials that provide the information you need
- Stay Awake. Knowing the common tricks used by scammers can help you spot and avoid them. You can register for FTC Fraud Alert .
Reporting fraud can help authorities catch and stop fraudsters.
Think of personal cyber insurance
Cyber insurance is a must for companies and is also recommended for successful individuals and families. Ask us about coverage that protects against new problems such as identity theft, hacking, cybercrime, cyber stalking and cyberbullying.