Could You Become a Victim of Fraud?

Unfortunately, fraud is all around. Be aware of it, and don't become a victim of fraud.

If you aren’t vigilant about guarding your personal information; then, yes, you could become a victim of fraud. In fact, if you think about it, you probably know someone in your family that has been a victim of fraud.

Scams are found everywhere. How many times have you received a phishing email? This is an email that may misrepresent a bank, credit card company, or even a government agency. You know that you never access your bank unless you go to their site yourself. You wouldn’t open your account by clicking on an email link. Most of the time these types of scams are pretty easy to recognize.

The Federal Trade Commission recently got a federal judge to stop a company from cheating people to the tune of $60,000,000. This company claimed to settle a person’s delinquent tax obligation. The name of the company was, American Tax Relief LLC. They charged upfront fees for tax relief services that most of the people that did business with them couldn’t qualify for.

There are some companies that will use deceitful measures to trick individuals to apply for services that they are unaware of until they start receiving charges. A marketing company worked up a scheme for a Pay Day Loan company that tricked people into ordering a debit card as part of their online loan application process. There was a box on the application that was pre-checked yes. If a person finished the loan form and submitted it without unselecting this box, they would receive a debit card, and would be charged $54.95 for the card. These were already people that were desperate enough to borrow from one of these kinds of high interest loan companies.

Millions of people every year fall victim to fraud. No wonder it’s so prevalent in our society. Why are Americans so trusting and gullible? It seems that the elderly in our country are the top target for investment fraud.

Even reputable companies have people working for them that can commit fraud. An elderly woman was approached by a representative of Prudential. He wanted to sell her an annuity. She was a handicapped elderly widow, and was too polite to say no to him. He took her to a doctor for a physical examination in preparation to sell her the annuity. When the lady said that she needed to discuss this with her daughter, he told her not to tell her daughter. Eventually she did tell her daughter. The daughter phoned the representative's manager, and told them of the practices of the representative. She should have gone farther and reported the incident to the authorities. This type of behavior in a company’s sales representative is unacceptable.

Keep a close watch on your credit card charges.  Don't neglect looking at your statement each month.  There are those that can steal your credit card number and create false cards.  Did you have dinner in Brazil?  Look, there is a charge on my credit card for over $700 for dinner at a restaurant in Brazil.  Don't think it can't happen?  It does every day, and sometimes there's just nothing you can do to avoid it.

Unfortunately, fraud is all around us. The only way to protect yourself from fraud is to be vigilant. Whenever it comes to your money, be sure that you know the complete details. Seek the advice of other family members. If it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is.

Source:

http://www.ftc.gov/opa/2004/08/fraudsurvey.shtm

http://www.ftc.gov/opa/2010/10/atr2.shtm

http://www.com.ohio.gov/secu/docs/OlderAmericanFraud.pdf

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Tracy Reddemann
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Posted on Feb 15, 2012
Shannon Richey
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Posted on Jan 2, 2011