Millions of people fall victim to fraud every year, especially the elderly. Financial fraud is tricky to discover and track. Bear in mind that the best defense against all kinds of fraud is knowledge. Staying informed is the number one rule in preventing fraud from happening.
Strangers are a risk, but so are our familiars
Over 90% of all reported elder abuse is committed by family members, most often the adult children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews. Depleting a joint checking account represents the most common type of attack, but there also are more menacing ones.
Be careful with credit card receipts
The safest thing to do is to destroy them. Identity theft is a huge business, so monitor your bank and credit card statements periodically and never give out personal information over the phone to someone who initiates contact with you uninvited.
Be careful with your personal data
Never give your credit card, banking or social security number over the phone unless you initiated the call. Your personal data and information may unlock access to your bank account without the immediate signs for you to detect.
Friends, family and business don’t mix well
Scamming someone is much easier if you have established any sort of a relationship prior to the scam. You are more likely to let down your guard with someone you are familiar with or who is a friend of a friend. Look at every contract or agreement from every angle possible, leaving nothing to chance.
Don’t believe what you see
Company logos, headers and mail signatures are easy to steal. Pay attention to a website’s URL. Hover over any links to see where they lead. Use only up-to-date, modern web browsers for online banking.
In the EU, payment card fraud is a highly profitable criminal activity, generating over 1,5 billion euros in damage. The majority of crimes are international. Although the majority of illegal transactions take place outside the EU, they affect the EU in different ways.
Monitor your credit card transactions
Illegal online card transactions mainly consist of online shopping, purchases of services from travel companies and physical transactions with counterfeit credit cards. Be very careful when using any of the aforementioned services.
Treat your cards the same way you threat your cash. Sign the new cards as soon as you claim them. Monitor each transaction you make thoroughly.
If you find any suspicious transactions on your account, do not hesitate to contact your bank immediately. Also, inform your bank whenever you are traveling overseas.