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Fight Fraud and Create a Safer World

Blog Fight Fraud
11.18.21
By: Holly Benedetto

This week, the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (AFCE) holds its annual International Fraud Awareness Week from November 14–20, 2021. The ACFE is the world’s largest anti-fraud organization and works with its partners to provide training and prevention education.

There are many types of fraud to which people fall victim. Tax fraud, identity theft, social engineering, money laundering, and other criminal activity can befall unsuspecting targets.

Participate in this year’s Awareness Week by learning how to recognize fraud, report it, and help contribute to a safer world for yourself and others.

 

Avoid Becoming a Victim of Fraud by Knowing What to Look For

Fraud, or actions meant to deceive for financial or personal gain, comes in a variety of forms and from surprising places. Fraud is possible through criminals impersonating legitimate business activity, usually through stolen information or deliberately circumventing internal processes. Some types of fraud the average person may be familiar with include:

Tax Fraud – Using the wrong information in tax forms may be an honest mistake for some, but others do so intentionally to evade tax liability. When doing your taxes, be sure that you or whoever is filing on your behalf is reliable and has correct documentation.

Identity Theft – The criminal obtains information about an individual and uses that information to apply for credit or accounts using this stolen information. Identity theft is a devastating crime that cause great harm to one’s personal finances and credit future.

Social Engineering – Criminals and scammers take advantage of the generosity, ignorance, or carelessness of an individual to gain access to information or a location. This can be done in the form of repeated calls or questioning, asking someone to hold a door, or asking targeted questions.

Money Laundering – This crime is the process of making illegally obtained money appear to have come from legitimate sources. There are multiple ways criminals can target you or your account for money laundering, including check scams or fake businesses.

 

There are dozens of specialized types of fraud. As technology evolves, new scams will continue to evolve too, so it is key to protect yourself and your information.

  • Dispose of sensitive and confidential information properly by shredding documents or destroying hard drives
  • Don’t disclose private information including answers to security questions or personally identifying information
  • Be careful what you share on social media: photos of driver’s licenses, ID cards, and more can be easily duplicated

 

Know Your Resources

Depending on the type of fraud, you may have to take different actions to report it. If you believe you’ve been a victim of fraud, identity theft, or other scams, contact one of the nationwide credit reporting agencies and place a fraud alert on your credit report.

There is no need to contact all three major bureaus – contacting one is enough.

Equifax | Experian | Transunion

To report identity theft and get a recovery plan, visit IdentityTheft.gov. To file an identity theft report, you must either file a police report or a report with a government agency, such as the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). The FTC has a web page designed for submitting fraud reports.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) explains many of the most common scams and provides direct government resources for how to report each type.

USA.gov has a detailed guide for reporting scams, tax fraud, imposters, and other criminals.

Continue to remain vigilant for unexpected or unauthorized changes. Some changes may take longer than others to appear or may be discovered later. For more ways to protect your American Heritage account, visit our Privacy and Security page or read our other security-focused blogs.

 

 

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