Financial Scams and Fraud: Protect Yourself and Your Money

Financial Scams and Fraud: Protect Yourself and Your Money

No one wants to lose money to a financial scam or fraud. In 2020, the FTC received more than 2.1 million fraud reports resulting in consumers losing more than $3.3 billion, up from $1.8 billion in 2019.1

Keep yourself and your money safe using the resources below and know what to do if you’re a victim of a financial scam.

Most Common Scams

According to the FTC, these were the most reported types by consumers in 2020:

  • Imposter scams – A dishonest person will contact you, usually by phone, email, or text, and try to trick you into sending them money. These imposters will pretend they work for a company that you would typically trust and say things like you owe money to the IRS, you won a prize but have to pay money to get it, a friend is in trouble and needs your help, or you got a check for too much money and need to send back the extra. These scams typically follow the same formula: they contact you, they present a problem or a prize, you have to pay them to get the reward or stop the trouble, and they ask for untraditional and usually untraceable forms of payment like wire transfers or gift cards.
  • Identity theft – someone steals or tricks you into giving your personal information, used to commit fraud or other crimes. The most common misuse is applying for a government benefit like unemployment insurance or social security.
  • Online scams – include phishing emails, fake e-commerce sites, and software, all designed to trick you into sending them money or giving out your personal information.

How To Protect Yourself

Be aware – signs it’s likely a scam:

  • They contact you
  • There is some sort of “bait”
  • They ask for your personal information
  • You have to pay them first to get whatever they are baiting you with
  • They ask you to send money via a wire transfer, gift cards, prepaid or cash reload card, or a money transfer app.
  • It sounds too good to be true
  • The website is not secure
  • It has a sense of urgency

Scam and Fraud Resources

To learn more about common scams and how to protect yourself, visit:

FTC Scam Information Page

FBI Scam and Safety Page

What to do if you have been a victim or how to report a scam:

FTC – What to Do If You Were Scammed

FTC – Report Fraud

LendingPoint will never contact you requesting money via a gift card, prepaid card or cash reload card, wire transfer, or a money transfer app as a condition for getting a personal loan.

Sources:
  1. https://www.ftc.gov/news-events/press-releases/2021/02/new-data-shows-ftc-received-2-2-million-fraud-reports-consumers
LendingPoint is an Atlanta-based lender and servicer, redefining who can access money at fair rates.

USA PATRIOT ACT NOTICE: IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT PROCEDURES FOR OPENING A NEW ACCOUNT

To help the government fight the funding of terrorism and money laundering activities, Federal law requires all financial institutions to obtain, verify, and record information that identifies each person who opens an account. What this means for you: When you open an account, we will ask for your name, address, date of birth, and other information that will allow us to identify you. We may also ask to see your driver's license or other identifying documents.

2. The Federal Equal Credit Opportunity Act prohibits creditors from discriminating against credit applicants on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, marital status, age (provided the applicant has the capacity to enter into a binding contract); because all or part of the applicant’s income derives from any public assistance program; or because the applicant has in good faith exercised any right under the Consumer Credit Protection Act. The federal agency that administers compliance with this law concerning FinWise Bank is the FDIC Consumer Response Center, 1100 Walnut Street, Box #11, Kansas City, MO 64106. The federal agency that administers compliance with this law concerning Coastal Community Bank and Midland States Bank is the Federal Reserve Consumer Help Center, P.O. Box 1200, Minneapolis, MN 55480. The federal agency that administers compliance with this law for LendingPoint is the Federal Trade Commission, Equal Credit Opportunity, Washington, DC 20580.

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