Dealing with fraud is frightening and tedious, and unfortunately, it is becoming more and more common. Fraud can occur in all areas of life, so it’s important to stay vigilant. You don’t need to live in fear, but there are a few things you can do for fraud prevention so that you don’t become a victim.
Let’s look at five different types of fraud and how you can protect yourself against them.
Credit and Debit Card Fraud
This is one of the most common types of fraud that just about everyone deals with at some point, but the good news is that credit and debit cards have become more secure with chip technology.
To stay safe, never share your card numbers with someone you don’t know or on an insecure website. Avoid using ATMs that aren’t from major banks, and if your bank has a fraud alert system, sign up for it so they can let you know about any suspicious activity as soon as it happens.
You should also check your bank account regularly to make sure there aren’t any unknown charges. If you do notice any, cancel your card immediately.
There are several types of online fraud, from data breaches to email hacking and phishing scams, and they can easily lead to a stolen identity. Prevent fraud by keeping all of your devices updated and installing an anti-virus program on all of your computers. You should also vary your passwords and change them often. Finally, do not open emails from senders you don’t recognize or click on any unknown links.
Mortgage fraud can include fake foreclosure rescue offers, loan modifications, and other offers from mortgage professionals who are using their knowledge to take advantage of distressed homeowners.
To avoid this, check all of the licensures and credentials of anyone you work with within real estate. Ask friends for referrals so you can be sure you’re working with someone trustworthy, and never sign paperwork you don’t understand.
Debt Collection Fraud
If you get calls from a debt collector demanding payment for an outstanding debt, never give your information over the phone. This is a common type of fraud that preys on fear and confusion. Ask the caller to verify their information and check the company name and street address to make sure it’s a legitimate company. If you believe it’s a scam, you can file a complaint with the FTC.
Fraudulent people often go undercover as a fake charity and try to get you to donate money towards their cause. This is especially common right after a natural disaster. To avoid being fooled, always verify your charitable donations with a charity checker Charity Watch.
Protect Your Identity From All of the Types of Fraud
All of the types of fraud listed above can quickly lead to identity theft, so make sure you are protecting yourself on all fronts. Be wary of schemes and verify that any place where you share your information or make a payment is legitimate.
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