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Financial Scams

What are Financial Scams:

Financial fraud can happen when someone deprives you of your money or otherwise harms your financial health through misleading, deceptive, and other illegal practices. This can be done through a variety of methods such as identity theft or investment fraud.

Internet and Text Message Phishing Scams:

General digital-based scams are on the rise. Hackers send an email or text message loaded with a virus or spyware with the purpose of stealing your personal information. Some attempts are fairly obvious, but other messages may appear to be coming from a trusted source and can even include a fake Zoom invitation. Most scams rely on you to click on a link to download a file or ask for log-in information, such as to change an “expired password.”

Identity Theft:

Scammers steal personal information—such as a name, date of birth, Social Security number, account number, and mother’s maiden name—and use the information to open credit cards or get a mortgage in someone else’s name. Identity thieves can often hurt your credit drastically.

Credit Card Fraud:

Credit card fraud is the unauthorized use of a credit or debit card, or card number, to fraudulently obtain money or property.

Ponzi Schemes:

“Ponzi” schemes promise high financial returns or dividends not available through traditional investments. Instead of investing the funds of victims, however, the con artist pays “dividends” to initial investors using the funds of subsequent investors.


Ransomware is a type of malicious software, or malware, that prevents you from accessing your computer files, systems, or networks and demands you pay a ransom for their return.

Fake Charities:

Fake charities use the same techniques to steal your money that legitimate charities use to raise funds, according to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). You should always check the legitimacy of a charity you plan on investing in, especially if you are not familiar with them.

Prize and Lottery Fraud:

Prize and lottery fraud come under many names—sweepstakes, drawings, foreign lotteries, and more. This type of fraud often targets the elderly and originates with a phone call or postcard.

Written by Anna Li

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