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How can I Avoid Becoming a Victim of Fraud?

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  • Written By: Jessica Ellis
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 12 July 2018
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2018
    Conjecture Corporation
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Becoming a victim of fraud is an unfortunate peril of the modern world. There are few areas of daily life that are not potential places for fraud to occur, from business or real estate transactions, to fake lotteries, financial ventures, and even pharmacies. The enormous prevalence of credit and bank cards make it very easy to access a person’s money or identity with the right information. In order to avoid becoming a victim of fraud, experts suggest constant vigilance over financial and identity matters, as well as careful fact-checking and investigation in all business ventures.

One of the most common forms of fraud is identity theft. With simple information like a bank account number, home address, or government identification number, a thief can set up counterfeit accounts, receive fraudulent identity cards, and destroy the financial standing of his victims. To avoid identity fraud, experts recommend that all mail or documents with personal information be shredded or locked in a safe to avoid the potential for theft. Keeping account passwords secret is important, but experts also suggest changing passwords frequently as well as making sure that all passwords contain combinations of letters and numbers that would be hard for thieves to guess.

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Even children can be subject to identity theft. By stealing an identification number, such as a United States Social Security number, thieves can even open bank or credit accounts with a child’s name. Some consider children an easy target for identity theft, as most have no financial standing and would not notice fraudulent withdrawals or accounts. Parents are warned to be on the lookout for suspicious subscriptions or mail notices that are sent to a home under a child’s name; these can be telltale signs of identity theft.

Many victims are the result of poor fact checking and insufficient research into investment or financial ventures. A rash of fraud arrests in the 21st century have opened the eyes of the public to the concept that even a respected name in financial ventures can conceal fraudulent dealings. Some schemes can even pay dividends to initial investors, giving them even more credibility to lure new victims. There is unfortunately no foolproof way to avoid financial investment fraud, but experts strongly recommend hiring a financial consultant who does thorough background research on all potential investments.

Fraudulent theft is a cruel crime that often preys on people’s most noble impulses. Charity fraud is a common form of thievery, where a company claims to use donations for charitable purposes while the schemers actually pocket the money. Avoiding this type of fraud is simplified by looking into the records of the charity for evidence of actual projects or causes it has funded. A simple Internet search can often provide considerable information on whether the charity is genuine or not.

One clear danger sign with any type of fraudulent scheme is a disinclination to provide records or requested information. If a company or individual is aboveboard, there should be no problem obtaining information and verifiable evidence about their history, behavior, or records. Remember that fraud is a form of confidence trick, and accomplished fraudsters usually have an extraordinary ability to manipulate people. If an organization or person requests money or personal information without sufficient evidence of reliability, there is a good chance some level of dishonesty is present.

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