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When you realise that you actually did not remove 400 euro from an ATM in Eastern Europe, or you find that your account is missing £200 that you didn't spend, then it is likely you have been a victim of fraud. With digital fraud becoming more sophisticated, most people are now victims of fraud without them knowing right until the last minute.
To stay protected, it helps to know what you are looking out for. To get you started, we have listed the 10 most common types of fraud that can hit unexpectedly.
This type of banking fraud is when a fraudster gains access to your credit and debit card details and uses them to make purchases. If the numbers of the physical card itself are taken, then all they need is a few more details to start making transactions.
To secure your cards, make sure you keep them safe. Chip and pin technology cards are much safer, as they can not be cloned. Make sure you check your bank account transaction weekly for any unauthorized payments.
Be very wary about using ATMs not related to a major bank. Finally, never store your card numbers online or in a web browser. If a hacker gets into your system, they will have all of your financial details.
Fraud on the internet is a growing business because it can often be extremely hard to notice that you have even been a victim. Technology has made it very easy to replicate websites and offers that look like they are from legitimate companies when they are, in fact, not. Data breaches, compromised emails, phishing scams, and viruses are all methods used.
There are some measures you can take to ensure your safety. The first is to keep a good quality anti-virus program on your computer. Use a keen eye when responding to any emails that ask for personal details, and check any links direct you to official websites.
Finally, make sure you install any updates on your operating system. This applies to desktops, laptops, and mobile devices, including phones.
Consumer fraud can be physical or digital, so does share many characteristics with online fraud listed above. Consumer fraud is when a victim is targeted with the lure of a purchase or a way to make money. They may believe they are shopping or taking part in a competition, but the final aim is to extract money from them.
Telemarketing scams, ID theft, and email scams are all examples of consumer fraud. Large scale, targeted disguised emails know as spear phishing can also be an example. They contain malicious links that infect your computer with malware or steal your details when they are clicked.
Overall, mortgage fraud is the characterization of misleading information to acquire a mortgage, or to fraud people who are undergoing that process. Mortgage fraud has two distinct facets.
The first of these is when fraud is done for profit. This can often be by people who have a strong knowledge of the industry and processes. The mortgage lending process is not used to buy a property but is instead used to steal money and equity from those who are the lenders.
The second is when mortgage fraud is used to acquire housing. It could be done by people who provide false information in the hope of gaining a loan to secure a property. It usually involves providing false information about the income or assets of the lender.
Corporate fraud refers to any illegal activities undertaken by a business for financial gain. It may also be that the company commits fraud to gain an advantage over competitors. How this is done is extremely wide-ranging, and thus can often be hard to notice.
It is often done with the use of confidential information or assets, that can then be used for gain. Companies may be found to have prepared false information, like profits, or to lie about products and services they have in development.
Affinity fraud is a type of fraud that targets a demographic, based on either age, race, gender, religion, or others. Fraudsters will pretend to be a member of that group, then use their influence for personal gain. This may often be through schemes, such as pyramid funds or investment schemes.
Accounting fraud is a practice in which statements of income and assets are falsified for personal or corporate gain. This may be to mislead individuals, shareholders, or potential investors. It could also be done by an individual to secure funds for a loan.
This is a particular type of fraud in which the individual's bank account is taken over. The details for access could be taken through stolen physical information, such as a letter, or through digital means like computer hacking or phishing scams.
Tax fraud is when an individual or business create false documents about their income and assets, with the aim of paying less tax. People or companies may do this by claiming personal expenses as business ones, claiming false deductions, not reporting their income accurately or using false national security numbers.
Insurance fraud occurs when the details of a claim are misused, either by another individual or the company providing the service. In the case of an individual, they may do this to use gain profit by damaging or losing an item, to gain money for a new one. For a company, they may claim for more expenses or procedures than a customer has had, to maximize profit from the insurance provider.
Do you think you are a victim of one of these types of fraud? If so, or you suspect you may be, you should contact your bank immediately.
If you want to protect yourself against future attacks online, sign up with social protect today. We can offer real-time updates on breaches and fraud for a small monthly fee or upfront payment. Visit our site and see how we can protect you.