Learn More About Fraud
The overarching topic of fraud is quite vast. There are lots of different types of fraud, spread out across countless subcategories. But these are the main umbrellas under which most kinds of fraud can be found:
This refers to any fraud that has to do largely with your money. Financial fraud consists of a wide number of different behaviors and practices, and it usually has immediate impacts. If you provide your banking information to a scammer because that scammer claimed to be from your banking company, for example, you’ve just fallen victim to a kind of financial fraud.
Scammers don’t have to get your information through phishing and other scams, either. If you make a purchase from an unsafe website and some scammers buy your credit card number from that site, they can pile up charges on your credit card without ever having to come into contact with you directly.
Another incredibly common type of fraud is identity fraud. This describes fraud in which the main intent is to take your personal and private information. If someone illegally obtains your Social Security Number and applies for government benefits with it, that person committed identity theft, making you a victim of identity fraud.
You’ll notice that identity fraud often overlaps heavily with all other forms of fraud. For example, someone could take your Social Security Number and apply for a loan with it. That person would make off with the money, leaving you to foot the bill. The scammer would also leave you with both identity and financial fraud.
Insurance and Tax Fraud
Though financial and identity fraud are likely the most common categories of fraud, insurance and tax fraud still makes a sizable impact. You might hear the phrases used in one of two opposite ways:
- An individual misrepresenting taxes and income to illegally obtain benefits or pay less taxes
- Someone stealing another person’s information to file tax returns and insurance claims in that person’s name
The first type does happen, but you’re in control of if it does or not. That makes the second type much scarier because you don’t have that control. If someone’s stealing your identity to file insurance claims and receive your tax returns, that could have a significant impact on your life, including your credit and your finances.
How Can I Avoid Fraud?
There’s nothing to gain by just worrying about whether or not you could be a victim of fraud. Instead, put that energy toward determining how to avoid it.
Be Careful With Your Information
You probably know that you should always be careful with your personal information. But do you actually go through with the safety features that you need to implement? It’s fine to know you need to be careful with your personal information, but if you then go and use your personal credit card at online retailers without an SSL certificate, you’re putting yourself in harm’s way.
Remember that you can keep your private information private as long as you pay attention to it. As a simple example, be careful with what you post on social media. Don’t post your phone number to Facebook when you get a new phone number; ask people to message you privately, then share it. Don’t post your email address on a job-sharing site; create a single address you use only for that site. When it comes to your security, little things can really make a big difference.
Pay Attention to Red Flags
Although banks do pay attention to try and trace suspicious behavior on a card, you can’t always expect your bank to do all the work for you. Instead, you need to stay up-to-date with your own records, and make sure that you’re always looking for something that seems off. The idea is that you never want to find something wrong, but you still want to search for it as intently as possible.
You can pay attention to all of this information in a variety of ways. For example, you should definitely go over your credit card statements every month. Sure, it’s sometimes annoying to do, but even a quick glance ensures that you’re not carrying any debt that’s not your own. You also get a free in-depth credit report every year from each major credit reporting bureau, which can show information like loan applications and credit card payments.
Stay Up-to-Date on Current Scams
It can seem strange to actually research scams, but this can be an incredibly useful tool when you’re trying to avoid fraud. Scammers constantly come up with new ways to take your information, or new ways to package very old scams. But these scammers rely heavily on catching people unawares. If you have the information first, you’re less likely to fall into the trap.
You can usually stay up-to-date on current scams just by looking across the internet at various tech blogs and news sources. There are lots of people out there trying to inform people like you about trends in the information world, so take those people up on their offer.
What’s the Best Way to Recover if I’ve Fallen Victim to Fraud?
Even if you do all the right things, there’s still a possibility that you could fall victim to fraud. Instead of panicking about it, spring back with these forward-facing tactics.
Keep Up With Your Own Information
The only way for you to know whether you’ve fallen victim to fraud is to pay attention to your information. If you’re recovering from fraud, and you never paid attention to all that information before, now’s the time. You might not have ever thought about it, but it’s actually much simpler than it seems. All you have to do is use PeopleFinders to perform a people search on yourself every so often.
That people search can give you access to in-depth public records information about yourself. If you see information that is wrong or private, you can then take the proper steps to stop it at the source. Ferret it out from places it’s not supposed to be and make sure that no one can use it to steal your identity or financial records.
Stay Sharp Regarding New Experiences
You don’t have to feel paranoid and on edge after falling victim to fraud, even though you might justifiably feel like it. Just because one person took advantage of your information doesn’t mean that’s normal — most people aren’t out to hurt or steal from you. Part of becoming more diligent about your information is knowing how to be cautious, but not paranoid.
For example, if you were planning to go into business with one of your friends, that decision might seem much more dangerous now that you’ve dealt with some fraudulent activity. You can use PeopleFinders to try and see whether your friend has any past bankruptcies or criminal records that might make them a bad choice for a business partner.
Arm Yourself With the Best Safety Tools
The best way to stay healthy and happy is to utilize the best safety tools. If you want to make sure your private information stays private, it’s a good idea to use PeopleFinders to do that. With PeopleFinders’ comprehensive database and a substantial amount of experience in the online public records industry, you can manage your fraud worries.
The arsenal of safety tools at PeopleFinders makes it a great way to strike back against anyone who’s trying to steal your information. With it, you can stop worrying and start being confident.