Click here to I know that fraud never stops when it comes to the financial world. After all, think of all the reasons one would have to commit fraud and they almost all essentially come back to money. I do end up being surprised at some of the ways this happens, though. The latest jolt came from a recent article concerning fraudulent tax returns using the social security numbers of the incarcerated.
It sounds outlandish when you look at the headline, but then with a little more thought, it starts to make sense. If there is someone out there whose information you could use and have them not immediately notice, is there a better group than prisoners?
This just shows how many different avenues there are for scammers to explore. And they have to keep traveling down those new avenues because if there was just one way for them to achieve success, well, it wouldn’t last long for it would be found and then shut down. They must keep innovating and trying new things to have any success.
This constant push and pull can feel like you have no chance of avoiding scammers, and you know what, that is true, you really can’t. Our ever more interconnected world makes it easier for more people to get more access to more of our information. Even if you are super diligent and keep your most important information private and unknown, I doubt that you are also able to keep all unwanted calls from going to your cell phone.
I think that one can take some positives out of this, however. First off, the more that scams in general rise in prevalence, the more aware people are of them and a little bit of healthy skepticism is all it takes to hold off many of them. Beyond that, financial institutions are aware of the growth in scams, are better equipped to deal with them, making handling a lot of the bad fallout that can come from fraudulent transactions easier to manage.
The biggest thing we can do is remain vigilant. Just as our increasingly technologically connected world has made it easier for the scammers, it has also made it easier for anyone to check what is happening with their financial accounts. It was not all that long ago that it was difficult to get any information beyond a monthly statement, but now almost everyone can pull up a website and get an up-to-the-minute look at an account.
And sure, doing a daily reconciliation is probably overkill. But giving an occasional peek to just make sure you recognize all the transactions, that is probably worth the couple minutes it takes. The worst thing we can do is hide in ignorance and only take action when needed.
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