Being educated on how to avoid being a victim of financial fraud is important. No one person or company wants to fall victim to a scheme that will cause them to lose money or put their livelihood or business in jeopardy. The good news is that there are things that you can do now to help avoid falling into scams that can wreak havoc on your finances and life.  

From PPP loans to personal financial loans, there are important things to know that can keep you from falling victim to scam. Here are a few tips on how to avoid being a victim of financial fraud.  

Do your research 

If something sounds too good to be true, it more than likely is. Very few businesses dealing with money will call or send texts or emails asking for your account information or money payments.  

If one of the methods mentioned above is used to contact you, take the matter into your own hands and contact the institution to make sure that it’s legit. A quick phone call to your bank or financial institution can help clear up any issues or questions about legitimacy that you might be having.  

Ask questions 

Never ever just “go with the flow” when it comes to dealing with your personal information and finances. When something isn’t right, your gut is a significant indicator, so pay attention to it and listen to it.  

Check on your business from time to time 

It’s actually quite amazing how business identities can be stolen, just like personal identities. In terms of PPP loans, it’s pretty simple for scammers to use business information and try to take out a loan or receive funds that aren’t rightfully theirs.  

You can check out the information with your financial institution to make sure that you don’t have any outstanding loans or lines of credit that have been taken out against your business.  

Put safeguards in place to stop scammers  

If you’re worried about falling victim to a scam, do what you can to stop it from happening. This can be as simple as setting up credit monitoring alerts on your personal information and business information. This will alert you if any attempt has been made to use your data or your business’s information in trying to obtain loans or secure money that you didn’t authorize.  

There are actually several types of financial fraud schemes, but a few are more common than others. 

One of the most popular is where you’ll be asked to wire money to unfreeze assets or other important parts of your life and business. Anytime that anyone asks you to wire money, your flags should go up. This is especially true if you don’t know the person or money and are receiving the communication via text message or automated phone call. 

Another majorly common financial fraud scheme is through email, where a fake email, which happens to look similar to an actual email, persuades you to “log in” through their portal to access documents and make payments. At this point, you then give sensitive information to the scammers who will use that to potentially steal even more of your money or lock you out of all of your accounts.  

While you may never encounter a fraudulent scheme in your lifetime, it’s a good idea to be aware of the possibility of it happening. Now that you know what to look out for, you’re much less likely to fall victim to any of these scams. And remember – if it’s odd and out of the norm, there’s a reason that your gut is telling you to back away and not be a part of it.  

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