Fraud is on the rise, especially during times of economic crisis. And what’s worse, as your age increases, so does your risk of becoming a victim.
According to the Federal Trade Commission, the top three categories of fraud to be on the lookout for based on 2019 data are impostor scams, telephone and mobile services, and online shopping – representing a combined financial loss of $833 million.
So, if you’ve become a victim of fraud, what should you do?
For phone scams, report to the Federal Trade Commission.
If you receive an unsolicited email claiming to be from the IRS, contact the IRS at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you receive a call from someone pretending to be a representative of the IRS, report to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration by calling 1-800-366-4484.
Call you bank and credit cards companies to make sure they are alerted of any fraud on your accounts, especially your checking and savings accounts. Typically, report suspicious activity via online banking.
Change all your passwords.
Place a fraud alert with the FTC. This may help ID thieves from opening accounts in your name.
You can freeze your credit so that no one can take out loans under your name. You’ll need to contact each of the credit reporting bureaus to freeze your credit.
These are all best practices for after fraud has occurred, but putting measures in place to prevent it in the first place is an even better idea.
As we often remind our clients, prevention costs less than correction.
THE BOTTOM LINE:
Knowing you’ve become a victim of fraud can bring up a lot of emotions. But by having a plan of action, you can keep a clear head and do your best to make sure any damage is minimized.