Avoiding Fraud is a tricky business. Criminals utilize a broad array of cunning tactics to defraud millions upon millions of people each and every single year.
These scoundrels often combine popular old tricks with new technology in order to convince individuals to provide them with personal and/or financial information or to send money.
This act is especially common among young adults. There are several reasons for this.
The most common are the fact that many young adults utilize open access internet hotspots, most do not have derogatory marks on their credit reports, and there are those that are simply unfamiliar with the schemes and advances utilized by crooks.
In this brief guide, you will be provided with information on how to successfully avoid fraud. While written for the purpose and intent of instructing young adults, the strategies outlined here are also effective for middle-aged adults, as well as the elderly.
Learn How to Quickly Identify Imposters
One of the most important strategies for avoiding fraud is to learn how to quickly identify imposters. It is common for scammers to research information online and to uncover various institutions, the names of relatives, and other information that may be used to convince a young adult to provide personal and/or financial information or send money.
A scammer may pretend to be an aunt, uncle, or cousin. They may pretend to be someone from a school that a young adult attends or the person’s workplace. They may even pretend to be someone from a community organization and/or group. Unexpected correspondence may come by email, a telephone call, or even a text. By learning to identify these types of imposters, young adults will have a higher level of success in avoiding fraud.
Practice Internet Safety
Today, young adults are constantly connected to the internet – be it through a computer, a tablet, a smartphone, or an electronic reading device. Not all networks used to access the World Wide Web are secure. In order to avoid fraud, steps must be taken to protect personal and financial information while on the internet. First, passwords should be created that utilize a combination of upper and lower case letters, numbers, and symbols.
Next, if using a non-secured internet access hotspot, usernames and passwords should not be entered. Personal information that is solicited should never be provided while online. If text messages and emails are received that contain links, the young adult should avoid clicking on those links. Finally, the amount of information shared on social media websites should be limited. It is becoming increasingly popular for scammers to obtain personal information through these platforms for the purpose and intent of illegally obtaining people’s information and subjecting them to fraud.
Review Financial and Credit Information Regularly
The third and final step that young adults should take in order to successfully avoid fraud is to review their financial and credit information on a regular basis. These include bank statements, credit card statements, other financial-based statements, and the credit report. If any type of unusual activity is discovered, it should be addressed immediately with the proper institution.
For example, if one’s bank statement shows unusual activity, it should be presented to the bank. If a credit report shows an unknown account or inquiry, it should be handled through the representing agency.
By taking these steps today, a young adult can avoid fraud for all of their tomorrows!