Category Archives: Fraud

Follow our blog to discover how fraud and scams can affect consumers, and what you can do to defend yourself and your finances.

How Did This IRS Scam Rip Off Millions from Americans?

The Wall Street Journal recently reported on a call center scam in India that stole $88 million from American victims. According to the article, call center employees were told to pose as IRS agents and threaten Americans into paying large sums of money. Scammers would tell targets their 401(k) plans would be seized and their wages frozen if they refused to pay nonexistent back taxes. There was a lot of incentive for scammers to be as brutal and threatening as possible. Scammers received one rupee for every dollar they took from American targets. Some victims lost as much as $88,000, meaning the scammer received more than $1,300. The scammers avoided detection by telling victims to make payments with gift cards. Victims were told to buy $500 gift cards from nearby stores, and then give the scammers access to those cards. Scammers told victims if they did not comply with this…
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Who Is Most At-Risk for Identity Theft?

An estimated ten million Americans are hurt by identity theft every year. In fact, 70 percent of all complaints sent to the Federal Trade Commission in 2012 involved reports of identity theft. While anyone can be a victim of identity theft, some people are easier targets than others. Seniors 70 years and older: According to statistics gathered by Experian, one of the credit reporting agencies, older consumers have better credit and therefore make lucrative targets. Older Americans also have retirement savings that make attractive targets for identity thieves. Children: This may sound surprising, but identity thieves target children for several reasons. Children have no credit history. In addition, theft can go undetected for many years, up until victims go to apply for a student loan, credit card or vehicle after turning 18. There are an estimated 140,000 cases of child identity theft every year! People who use social media: Be…
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Want to Avoid Online Identity Theft? Do Not Make These Common Mistakes

Have you ever received an urgent email asking for confidential financial or personal information? If so, you may be one of millions of Americans who has experienced phishing emails. Phishing emails are one of many tactics used by scammers to commit online identity theft. Once scammers have your Social Security number, bank account information and other personal details, they are free to go on incredibly damaging spending sprees. However, there are ways to protect yourself from online identity theft. Do not respond to phishing emails: Phishing emails often have dead giveaways, such as asking for banking, Social Security, address or login ID information. Dedicated scammers will create copycat websites, domain names or even fake companies to trick users into coughing up vital information. Companies, HR departments and other authorities will not ask for these details to be sent over email, as it could carry risks to consumers or employees. Do…
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