Protecting Your Finances: Safeguarding Against Soaring Scams and Fraud


Scammers are bilking Americans out of more cash than ever before with the aid of technology. However, there are measures you can take to protect your money and information. According to the most recent data from the Federal Trade Commission, reported consumer fraud losses totaled $8.8 billion in 2022, an increase of 30 percent from 2021. More than $3.8 billion was lost to investment fraud, including cryptocurrency schemes, which is double the amount lost in 2021.

The FTC found that younger adults (20-29) reported losing money more frequently than senior adults (70-79). But when they did lose money, older adults lost more. Scammers frequently target retirees with assets such as savings, annuities, life insurance policies, and property. With the emergence of the digital economy, con artists can now reach their victims via social media, text, and email. Additionally, online payment platforms, applications, and marketplaces have expanded opportunities. However, many of their strategies and tactics are similar.

Amanda Clayman, a financial therapist who works with the digital payment network Zelle on issues of deception, recommends a three-second delay when approaching a situation with urgency. When someone urges us to act swiftly, it’s usually a sign that we should take the opposite course of action. Here’s additional information to keep your money and information secure: According to experts, simply being cognizant of common scams can be helpful. Robocalls frequently target vulnerable individuals such as the elderly, the disabled, and those with outstanding debt.

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Tips to Thwart Robocalls and Text Message Frauds

Photo by: Pickawood via Unsplash

James Lee, chief operating officer at the Identity Theft Resource Center, advised that when receiving an unsolicited robocall with a prerecorded message urging you to make a purchase, hang up. Lee urges consumers to end the call and contact the company or institution at an official number. Scammers frequently impersonate authorities, such as tax or debt collectors. They may pose as a family member requesting immediate financial assistance for parole, legal assistance, or a hospital bill.

Lee urges individuals to never click on a link in a text or email that seems out of the ordinary, and to instead visit the site in question directly or call the number listed on the official website. This takes an additional 30 to 40 seconds, but it might save you a considerable amount of money each time, he suggested. Unrecognized sender, out-of-the-ordinary language, or a glaring misspelling are a few indications to be extra cautious. According to the Federal Trade Commission, in 2022 consumers lost more than $326 million due to fraudulent texts alone.

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Source: New York Post, AP News

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