Security Center – Part #1 Common types of fraud

Here's part 1 of a 2 part series courtesy of our business consultant Stewart Barnes of Ameriprise Financial. Given all that's been going on lately with scams and hacks of major corporations, the potential for the loss of personal information and worse yet, having your personal identity compromised, I feel there is a lot of good stuff in this series that can be helpful to anyone

Email fraud or phishing

Email fraud – or phishing – refers to phony emails that appear to be from well-known companies and are designed to deceive you into providing personal, financial or account information (such as account user names, passwords, credit card information and Social Security numbers).

For tips on how to spot email fraud, see About email fraud.

Advance fee fraud

This fraud typically involves promising the victim a large sum of money in return for an up-front payment, which the fraudster requires in order to provide the large sum. If a victim makes the payment the fraudster either invents a series of new fees the victim must pay or simply disappears.

Common types Red flags to watch for How to protect against it
Lottery
IRS
Inheritance
Vacation rentals
Work from home/career opportunity
Check overpayment
Loan
  • The offer seems too good to be true
  • Grammatical errors and typos
  • Sense of urgency - scammers will pressure you and say the situation is very urgent to get you to act before you think
  • Extreme confidentiality - the scammer doesn’t want you to tell friends or family
  • Up-front payment – asking for money is a major red flag
  • Stop communication and block the sender
  • Never share your account information, Social Security number, bank information or other sensitive financial information
  • Do not respond to offers that sound too good to be true
  • Be wary of a website or correspondence claiming to be from a U.S. government agency whose e-mail address does not end in “.gov”, “.mil”, or “fed.us.”
  • Be aware of secondary scams that may include someone promising to find your scammer and get your money back

Romance scams

Romance scams typically involve feigned romantic intention toward a victim, gaining their affection, and then using that goodwill to commit fraud.

Common types Red flags to watch for How to protect against it
Online dating
Social media
  • Someone has claimed to have fallen in love with you quickly, often within 24-48 hours
  • The person wants to immediately leave the online site to use instant messaging or email
  • Their online profile seems to disappear as soon as you start talking to them
  • They request to keep the relationship a secret
  • They ask for money
  • They claim to be in the military or work overseas and need money for flights home
  • They plan to visit you, but an event prevents them from doing so, or they ask for money for travel costs
  • They tell you they need money for medical issues (such as a sudden surgery), for themselves or a family member
  • Never share your account information, Social Security number, bank information or other sensitive financial information with anyone
  • Avoid posting details such as your full name, date of birth, or home and work addresses on online profiles.
  • Never respond to any requests to send money, or have money transferred into your account by someone you don't know and trust
  • Trust your instincts - if you think something feels wrong, it probably is

Debit card fraud

Debit card fraud involves the unauthorized use of funds through debit card transactions.

Common types Red flags to watch for How to protect against it
Lost/stolen card
Compromised/ counterfeit card
Pre-paid debit card scams
  • Multiple card entries for high-dollar orders
  • Unauthorized purchases
  • Multiple purchases of the same item
  • International shipping
  • An unsolicited phone authorization for a cash advance
  • Enroll in email and text alerts (Note: For Ameriprise accounts, register or log in and go to My Profile to enroll)
  • Check account statements frequently
  • Never share your PIN number with anyone
  • Keep your card and PIN stored in a safe place
  • Do not allow non-account holders access to your card or PIN
Written by Tim Strawn

Owner, IART

Comments

  1. Well done Tim! It is sooooooo easy to get scammed. Thank you for this valuable information.

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