Financial fraud by mail, telephone and online
Financial frauds go by many names – with international police organisation Interpol counting pyramid schemes, payment card fraud, letter scams and offshore investment scams among them. Interpol warns that such frauds can be committed by a wide range of methods. Mail, fax and telephone scams have existed for many years, with fraudsters updating their techniques to use the internet and email as well as “phishing” technology (to obtain passwords and other sensitive information).
Watch out for warning signs
Helpful tips on how to recognise 13 types of financial scam are provided on the Canadian Securities Administrators website. It can pay to become familiar with scams and their hallmarks to try to avoid being sucked in. The eZonomics story What is … a Ponzi scheme? explains that scammers have conned rich and poor alike in many places around the globe.
Keep up to date with online security advice
Although only about one-in-five respondents to the eZonomics poll had been a victim of financial fraud, the effect can be highly disruptive even if the loss involved is small. Having credit and debit cards reissued and reorganising bank accounts can be time consuming and make it hard to operate as usual in the interim.
Banks and other businesses that operate online often provide online security advice and guidance to customers. Reading the advice and reacting to it is another way to keep finances safe from fraudsters.