Different Types of Consumer Fraud

Aug 26, 2022 By Susan Kelly

The victims of consumer fraud can lose substantial sums of money or possessions. Commercial fraud encompasses any dishonest practice, whether dishonesty, unfairness, misrepresentation, or fraud. Anyone can fall prey to scams, but students and the elderly are popular targets.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau aims to protect consumers from financial fraud and abuse by ensuring that all financial institutions in the United States follow standard industry practices. "Criminals consistently devise new plans to steal your money. Realizing risks and making preparations for them is essential. "That is if you trust the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Mortgage scammers prey on people who are already struggling. Credit card and debit card fraud occurs when someone uses your card without your permission or when they make a false promise to lower your interest rate. Con artists prey on goodwill and kindness to achieve their ends. Debt collection fraud occurs when a person tries to collect money for a debt that does not belong to them.

Personal Information Theft

Identity theft occurs when thieves use data mining techniques to steal personal information such as your name, Social Security number, bank account information, and credit card numbers.

The objective of identity thieves is to perpetrate financial identity theft against you by, among other things, draining your bank account, applying for and using credit cards in your name, taking out loans, making medical claims against the insurance, and submitting fraudulent tax returns. Identifying the Warning Signs of Identity Theft

There's a chance your identity has been stolen if any of the following describe you. Without prior notice, withdrawals are automatically deducted from your bank account. Identity thieves may have changed your address to open bogus accounts in your name if you suddenly cease receiving essential mail like bills and bank statements.

Credit card and bill collectors are harassing you with calls about accounts you don't recognize. When you get your credit report, surprises await you. Medical establishments have billed you for treatments you did not receive. The IRS has informed you that two distinct tax returns using your name were filed.

Possible Courses of Action

If you are concerned that your personal information has been compromised, visit IdentityTheft.gov, a service of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) (FTC). If you see this site, you can find out how to repair your ruined identity and solve other issues you may face. In addition, the FTC advises that you:

Get in touch with any companies you suspect were victimized so that you can report the fraud, close or freeze accounts, and change passwords and PINs. Put a fraud alert on your credit file and request your credit report from the three main bureaus at no cost.

IdentityTheft.gov is where you or anybody you know may report identity theft to the Federal Trade Commission. Reporting a theft to the authorities allows them to keep a check on things on your behalf.

Fake Loans

The FBI looks into thousands of cases of possible mortgage fraud every year. According to the Financial Institution Fraud Unit of the FBI, most people who fall prey to mortgage fraud nowadays are already in a precarious financial situation. Scams in this category include "foreclosure rescue," "loan restructuring," and "equity skimming." Real estate agents and mortgage brokers with valid licenses are the most common perpetrators of such crimes.

Warning Signs of Mortgage Fraud According to the National Crime Prevention Council, you may be a victim of mortgage fraud if any of the following situations describe you:

You were assured that the terms of your loan might be altered, preventing the loss of your home to foreclosure. Service fees were required to be paid in advance. It was either promised that your mortgage payments would be refunded in full, that you would begin sending them to a new entity, or that you would be ordered to stop making them altogether.

Possible Courses of Action

To protect themselves from mortgage fraud, consumers should take the following precautions, as the Federal Bureau of Investigation recommended: If you're buying or selling property, it's wise to get referrals from individuals you already know and trust instead of reaching out to strangers.

Ask for and carefully examine the license of anyone you intend to do business with. You should walk away from a transaction if it is being pushed down your throat or sounds too good to be true. Don't sign anything that you haven't carefully read and thought about. Seek the advice of a qualified expert, like a credit counselor or an attorney.

Misuse of Electronic Funds Transfer Systems

Fraud occurs if the information on your credit or debit card is stolen and used to make unauthorized transactions or cash withdrawals. In many cases, financial institutions like banks and credit card issuers will not charge you the maximum $50 allowed by the Fair Credit Billing Act.

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