Despite all the warnings about how to spot scams and fraud, people still fall victim to these ploys every day. Those committing the crimes are becoming more creative, so every day citizens need to be more cautious to not become another statistic.
Financial crimes like fraud can be wide-ranging, just like those who can fall victim to it. There is no age limit when scammers are looking for their victims, so everyone needs to know what to look for to help protect their bank accounts.
Common scams to be on the lookout for
A common scam involves lottery, sweepstakes and prizes. These scammers rely on the fact that people love free things. Often, this type of fraud consists of providing a small fee to collect the award or providing personal information.
When it comes to fraud, knowledge is power. If someone reached out about a prize you won but you never entered any drawing, you should be skeptical. Do not provide any information until you have thoroughly looked into the claim.
You also need to be on the lookout for criminals who impersonate your bank. Generally, in these scams, you will be asked to verify your information, either online or by phone. If you give the scammer this information, they have access to your money.
No bank will ever ask for private information like passwords by email or over the phone. If someone calls you asking for this information, red flags should raise right away.
What to do if you become a fraud victim
Because financial crimes like fraud are always evolving, despite your best efforts, you may still fall victim. You do not have to fight for restitution on your own, and a knowledgeable attorney can help you report the scam to the Federal Trade Commission while determining if you are eligible for compensation.