Bank Fraud: 5 Common Scams
Bank fraud has unfortunately become a very real problem, and these bank fraud: five common scams are important dangers to watch out for to avoid becoming a victim. Learning about these scams can help protect your wallet and your credit. It can be far too easy to fall into a trap set by con artists, so knowing the danger signs of one of these scams is important.
- The telemarketing scam. Anytime someone says that you have won a free prize or other gift, you should be wary, particularly if you haven't entered any contests. Frequently, telemarketers will pressure you to give information immediately, saying if you do not "act now" you will lose the wonderful prize. Giving away credit card or bank information over the phone to someone you do not know is asking for trouble. Stay on the alert for the telemarketer telling you that you don't need to check out their company, or that what they are offering is "high-profit." Never be afraid to demand references or check with the Better Business Bureau
- 419 fraud. This scam has gained in popularity since email has become more popular. These emails will often come from other countries, like Nigeria, proclaiming deep financial distress or legal trouble. Often these emails appeal to emotions, with sad stories asking for money that will be reimbursed immediately. Never send any money orders or any account information to these people. Large sums of money are not freely given, so do not believe an email saying this is so.
- Advance payment fraud. This can come in the form of an email or a phone call. The caller will tell you that you have won a large sum of money, a lottery, or investment. Frequently there is a small fee to claim these winnings, or financing approval is needed, and the caller will ask for bank information or advance payment. The best way to prevent this scam is to know that if something seems too good to be true, it likely is.
- Pyramid scheme. This is one of the oldest scams, but it is still going strong today. Largely, it revolves around a company that seems to sell parts of the franchise rather than the product. It works the same way a chain letter does: a person tries to get two more people to buy in, and those two people try to get five people to buy in. Often there is the promise that the initial investment will be doubled once the company takes off, but the investors are often left with nothing.
- Identity fraud. One of the most popular in today's technological world, identity fraud can wreak havoc on your life for years. Con artists obtain bank information, credit cards, or other personal data and use it to purchase goods, open lines of credit, or destroy your accounts. The best way to prevent this is by disposing of all personal information securely. If you lose your wallet or credit cards, cancel them immediately and notify the companies.