Almost two years ago Reliable Tech News published an article called, Those Unwanted Phone Calls! While the emphasis there was on steps to take to deal with such calls, behind that focus was a very simple reality: technology makes fraud easy.
Sometimes just knowing a little bit about the technology helps to insulate you from the fraud perpetrated against you. Chloe Person, a writer for ConsumerHealthLabs.com came across our article and offered some helpful alerts to protect you against seven basic fraud types. In every case the perpetrators take advantage of the fatal flaw of ignorance in the victim. Be informed!
- Credit Card Fraud – Simple ways to avoid this scam. Details by themselves seem insignificant. But little bits of information gathered can put your credit card at risk. Buying a shredder is less expensive than the damage done to your credit if an insignificant piece of paper with your card number is found in the trash. Online bank accounts should have the highest password protection. If the card reader at the gas pump or the ATM looks a bit unusual, it may be a device called a credit card skimmer. Placed over the regular credit card swipe, it allows the skimmer to gather your credit card info. Run to another ATM or gas pump if you’re not sure.
- Addiction Fraud – Those closest to you can be a source of fraud because of the trust you invest in the one you love. However, if that person has an addiction to drugs or alcohol or some other dependency, their extreme craving may lead them to take advantage of your trust and commit addiction fraud against you, simply because of your trust. Know the signs and protect your technology.
- Insurance Fraud – Again, one of the key factors is your individual alertness to “strange transactions” and keeping your information protected. It is always helpful to ask questions and check out information given. The “swoop and squat” is one type of staged car crash. If it seems unusual or strange check it out. There’s a wealth of information on the Internet.
- Contractor Fraud – Your simplest protective tool to prevent fraud before it happens is the question. If you feel you don’t know enough to ask good questions, then search the Internet. You’ll find this list of 15 questions that help the consumer to work well with contractors. Some contractors welcome questions. Others do not. That initial bit of information can set the stage for either moving on or giving trust deserved.
- Income Tax Fraud – Cybercrime finds a perfect fit with Income Tax fraud. All the information necessary to get to your refund is online. Whether by simple phishing or complex hacking, your information is at risk. Protect your personal data and alert the Payroll department at work. Luring corporate payroll departments into sending W-2 information to the wrong people is a lucrative way to steal refunds from the real taxpayers. Imagine how difficult it would be to unravel that fraud with the IRS!
- Homebuyer Fraud – The three biggest types of homebuyer fraud are given in this helpful article. Is the real estate agent someone you can trust? Some brokers will falsify information to enable you to get a loan amount harmful to you and beneficial to the broker’s fees. This fraudulent loan origination is just one of three types of fraud brought against homebuyers. Search online; ask questions; find agents trustworthy and accredited.
- Senior Fraud – “Financial scams targeting seniors have become so prevalent that they are now considered the crime of the 21st century.” This is based on the assumption that seniors have significant amounts of money in their accounts. And because seniors are defenseless and overly trusting, even to being fearful of reporting their error, they become very vulnerable to fraudsters of all kinds. Health care scams, telemarketing scams, Internet fraud, investment schemes, counterfeit prescription drugs and the “grandparent scam,” are a handful of the many deplorable scams used to cheat the elderly.
Online Banking can actually be a good way to stay safe. Online banking is one of the most convenient options for managing your finances, but many retirees have yet to take advantage of this form of banking. Here’s a link to a guide that explains how to help retirees navigate online banking and gain confidence in managing their finances online. The guide explains how to get started with online banking, how to stay safe online and the benefits received from making the switch as a retiree.
There are steps which you can take to present a person less vulnerable and more informed. On one side, know the technologies you use and the schemes the fraudulent use. On the other side, know the people you deal with and how to keep your personal information safe. You may become a victim of some kind of identity theft. Just don’t make it easy for the criminal!