Fraud is a year-round threat, but it is especially prevalent around the holidays. With people often very busy and pre-occupied with a million things, fraudsters will exploit every avenue they can; hence, it surely pays to be vigilant at all times.
As we observe fraud awareness week, we’re sharing with you 8 of the most prevalent scams at present time so you can protect yourself from these types of fraud throughout the rest of the year and until 2016!
Disaster Mitigation Scams
Convincing you to avail of disaster mitigation plans only takes a few tugs at the heartstrings (and pocketstrings!) – something that’s easily accomplished around the holidays and beginning of the year when people are more apt to make rushed decisions. Some disaster mitigation companies inflate their damage estimates by as much as 500%, and some get extra cash by using unnecessary equipment thereby making dishonest money off of you.
Bank Draft Scams
Counterfeit cashier’s checks and bank drafts are being issued left and right on a daily basis. If you’re a business or an online seller, you’re especially vulnerable. Be on the lookout for someone paying you a check for far more than the cost of your goods or services and then asking you to give them cash for the overage.
Straw Ownership of Companies and Businesses
Clinics and medical facilities must be licensed to physicians so that they can conduct business and that’s good practice because it can help protect the public. The problem is that these days, some doctors only act as false owners and so the clinic truly operates under someone else. Clinics like this often over-bill their services and you as the consumers suffers in the end by having to pay higher insurance premiums.
Unnecessary Mobile X-Rays
Some companies use mobile x-rays as an opportunity to charge a lot of extra charge in the form of transportation and set-up fees. If your healthcare provider wants to schedule in-office x-rays when it is perfectly easier for your staff to just drop by their clinic (which is conveniently nearby), you know that you’re being taken for a ride.
Credit Repair Fraud
If you have a lot of debt and may be tempted to use a credit repair company to help erase or fix your debt, chances are that you are better off just paying your debt rather than wasting your money availing of their services as they often don’t really help you.
Policy Procurement Fraud
As more and more consumers purchase policies online, policy procurement fraud has become more prevalent. The scammer starts by recruiting insured people like you, convince you to apply for policies, then falsify documents to either charge you more or stage a fake accident so that they can file inflated claims.
Internet Money Laundering Scams
Most internet money laundering scams presents itself as a form of a business or employment opportunity. You’d be contacted by the scammer and will either be sent a job offer or a business proposal that’s very difficult to resist. Next thing you know, the scammers will be sending you a check to buy stuff for them (and you can keep the change), or to process funds for them using your own bank account. The money could be real or not real but if you’re caught facilitating this type of fraud, keep in mind that you can be thrown in jail even if you are not fully aware of what’s happening. Some may try to get your bank or personal information over the phone and hire you without even having an interview. Remember, if it is too good to be true, it probably isn’t true!
Scammers can either get your details by hacking into various databases or presenting you with fake information to make you share your financial details. Identity theft is perhaps the most serious of all the fraudulent activities in this list because not only will you lose a lot a money, you can also suffer from a damaged reputation and credit score. With effects that can possibly last your entire life, getting your identity stolen is surely the most devastating fraud that can happen to you.
Need help or have some questions about protecting yourself from scams? Feel that you’ve been victimized by one of the scams discussed above? Our private investigator services include both business and individual investigations in and around Toronto. Contact us and we’ll help you get to the bottom of it.