Fraud is a serious crime. Research conducted by a satellite agency of the Federal Trade Commission, also abbreviated as the FTC, discovered that more than 3.2 million Americans claimed to be victimized by some type of fraudulent act in 2019.
Additionally, these same individuals claimed to have lost almost $2 billion. What is more frightening is that the problem seems to be on the increase. The preceding monetary figure is a roughly $293 million jump from 2018.
Specific Types Of Fraud
Fraud is defined as any type of act where an individual or company uses false information to either sell someone a good or product or entice intended victims into investing money in some sort of scheme.
That said, some of the more currently popular fraudulent activities white collar criminals perpetrate include:
Credit Card Fraud
This malfeasance action occurs when an unscrupulous individual either steals someone’s credit or debit cards or obtains account numbers and uses the funds contained in said accounts for their own personal gain.
False Charitable Organizations
Unfortunately, wrongdoers pray on the good intentions of many people. Numerous kind souls donate percentages of their hard-earned money to organizations helping those in need.
In recognition of this fact, miscreants create false charities, collect donated funds, and use said money for personal interests. This is especially true during holidays, following tragic events, and even during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Arguably, identity theft is the current king of fraudulent offenses. Individuals engaging in this delinquent endeavor literally steal the identity of a law-abiding citizen and use said alias to illegally obtain funds, start credit accounts, or even obtain loans like mortgages.
Debt Collection Fraud
The average American citizen holds several thousand dollars worth of credit card or some other type of debt. Scammers are well aware of these statistics and often attempt to extort money from individuals by pretending to be debt collectors.
Also known as predatory lending, a community of malefactors targets homeowners struggling with mortgage payments by offering them sweetheart but fraudulent deals as a means of emerging from the financial hardship they face.
Six Signs One Has Been Victimized By Fraud
Though fraud often takes on many forms, the following six signs might indicate one has been victimized:
Unusual Charges Or Bills
One telltale sign of fraud victims often disclose is receiving charges for purchases they did not authorize. Oftentimes, impacted subjects notice unusual expenditures on banking and credit card statements or receive calls or other inquiries requesting payment for items they never bought.
Fraud casualties might report receiving warning notifications from their banks, brokerage houses, credit card companies, or other entities where they exchange funds or make purchases.
Typically, said institutions require login credentials like passwords and usernames to safely enter said accounts. If compromised, the establishment managing the account is likely to notify the account holder of attempted or successful breaches.
Unexpected Credit Denial
Unknowing victims of identity theft might have their financial accounts bankrupted or their charge cards maxed. Said occurrences could precipitate a quick and swift drop in the unsuspecting subject’s credit rating.
Cessation Of Paper Statements
Many account holders request their banking and other pertinent financial statements be sent to their mailing addresses. However, fraudulent offenders might steal one’s account and change this contact information. In turn, the actual account holder ceases to receive billing statements.
Acute Foreclosure Or Repossession Notices
Identity thieves might go so far as to complete major purchases such as a vehicle or home in the victim’s name. Eventually, however, these miscreants might default on these loans, which precipitates loan holders to initiate repossession or foreclosure proceedings against the individual whose name is on the financial agreement.
Unexpected Freezing Of Accounts
Lawbreakers might withdraw significant sums of money or make hefty credit purchases at a time. Such actions often raise red flags for banking or credit institutions. In response, said establishments might freeze such accounts to protect their investments and conduct further investigations.