Today, I have partnered with Aura. Aura is the leader in intelligent safety solutions and provides all-in-one digital protection for consumers.
Nowadays, we do almost everything online.
From shopping, to paying bills, banking, connecting with friends and family, and more – there’s hardly a day that passes where someone doesn’t spend a good chunk of their time on the internet.
After all, online consumers have an average number of 90 accounts and spend over 6 hours per day on the internet.
Unfortunately, along with that, there’s also an increase in scams.
The internet and online world are a great thing, but there are also risks. Cybercrime happens quite frequently and can cause a lot of stress and lost money.
Financial fraud is common these days, and it is growing at an alarming rate.
Even if you think that you could never be a victim of financial fraud, it happens to normal people every single day – no matter where you live, how high or low your income is, your age, and so on. No one wants to think that it could happen to them, until it does.
According to the FTC, identity theft and fraud losses cost people in the U.S. $3.3 billion in 2020 alone and someone is a victim of identity theft or fraud every 7 seconds. Identity theft cases doubled in 2020, which is a huge increase! Plus, there were over 46,000 scam websites detected each week in 2020.
That is a lot of financial fraud!
Due to that, I want to help you prevent financial fraud so that you can protect your finances.
Today, I am going to talk about:
- What financial fraud is
- Signs that your personal information may have been stolen
- How this can happen to you
- What you should do if you are a victim of a financial scam, and more!
How To Prevent Financial Fraud From Happening To You
What is financial fraud? What is the most common type of financial fraud?
Financial fraud is when someone steals your money, assets, or personal identity.
Financial fraud impacts all different kinds of people – the young, the old, all throughout different towns, states, and countries, different income levels, and more.
Scammers don’t care who you are – they just want your money.
Financial fraud includes:
- Opening new bank accounts in your name
- Taking over your existing financial accounts
- Charging expenses to your credit card
- Opening loans and credit cards with your personal information
- Identity theft
- Pyramid or Ponzi schemes
- Home deposit theft (this is extremely common right now and it is when someone pretends to be involved in your home buying process and intercepts your home deposit, typically done through email)
The list is never ending and new types of scams are created all the time.
What are signs that my personal information has been stolen?
If your identity or personal information has been stolen, there are signs that you may want to look for. These include:
- You have charges on your credit card or bank statement that you do not recognize. When you receive your monthly statements, you should look them over and make sure that you recognize all charges, whether they be big, small, charges, or income. Identity thieves will do anything to see what you will notice before they charge something expensive.
- There is a new credit card or loan in your name that you do not know about. This is an immediate flag that you should not ignore. If something is unfamiliar to you, then you should investigate immediately.
- You have received phone calls or letters from debt collectors. If someone is trying to collect a debt from you that you are unaware of, it may be because someone has stolen your identity.
- You receive bills in the mail that you do not know about.
These are all signs that you do not want to overlook or ignore. You should investigate these immediately and figure out what is going on.
How does financial fraud happen?
Financial fraud can happen in many different ways, such as:
- You connected to a bad wifi connection
- You may have fallen for a Craigslist rental scam
- Been victim to an internet email scam
- Lost your wallet
- Clicked on a fake link in an email
- Been victim of a data breach (these happen all the time lately, it seems like)
- Someone has hacked your computer, wifi connection, or your online accounts
Unfortunately, there are a lot of different ways that your personal information can end up in the hands of the wrong person.
How can I prevent financial fraud and scams?
Thankfully, many scams are quite obvious. If you take your time and look out for common warning signs, then you will most likely be able to prevent a good majority of scams.
There are some easy signs that you can look out for, such as:
- Are there a lot of typos in the email that you are reading? If so, I would be wary about clicking on any links or giving them any personal information. Large companies, your bank, and other places that deal with your financial information vary rarely will have typos.
- Is someone online possibly pretending to be someone else, such as your bank? I try to never give personal information unless I have to. If I do, I will reach out to the company myself, just in case it’s a fake email or a fake phone call. Yes, it takes a little bit more time, but it can save you a lot of stress.
- Is the website secure? When you click on a URL, your browser will typically tell you if the website you are on is safe or not.
- Does it sound too good to be true? You know what they say – if it sounds too good to be true, then it possibly is. You should always do your research if you have any doubt in your mind.
There are other things you can do to prevent financial fraud as well, such as making sure that you research the person or company who is contacting you, reaching out to them separately (such as directly calling your bank with the number that you know of, not the number in the email you received), monitoring your credit report, creating difficult and different passwords, being careful about the wifi you connect to, and setting up alerts on your credit card.
Another way is to use a service such as Aura, which I will talk about in-depth below.
How can Aura help protect me?
While I realize that the above article may scare you, or make you realize that you may have compromised your personal information in the past, there are things that you can do to keep your information and finances safe.
One easy way is to sign up for a service that will protect you and your personal information.
Aura is the leader in intelligent safety solutions and provides all-in-one digital protection for consumers like you and me.
In fact, over 1 million people use Aura and Identity Guard (a brand owned by Aura) to protect themselves every single day.
Aura is easy to set up so that you can protect yourself, your internet network, and your devices from scammers.
They help prevent others from accessing your online accounts (such as banking and personal accounts), prevent scammers from using your personal information for financial fraud (such as getting loans or credit cards under your name), and minimize the impact if your personal information is stolen or exposed online (such as if your social security number, driver’s license, or passport number are stolen).
Aura provides identity protection such as:
- Credit monitoring
- Credit freeze
- Bank account monitoring (for example – you can get notified if your bank account details are changed without your knowledge, such as if a new account holder is added)
- Dark web monitoring
- Public record monitoring
- Home title monitoring (get notified if your home title’s names are changed)
- Plus antivirus, VPN, password management, and parental control (coming soon).
This is all combined in one product so that you can get the best security protection.
For example, Aura monitors and alerts you if there are new inquiries on your credit report, such as for credit cards and bank loans. This way, you can make sure that no one is using your identity to open new accounts.
Another way that Aura helps is they will also alert you on suspicious spending. You simply just link your bank accounts to Aura and your finances will be monitored so that you can catch any early signs of someone who may have stolen your credit card or other personal information.
Aura combines financial, identity protection, and network protection all in one service, so that you can protect your identity, your personal information on your computer, and more.
With Aura, you can secure your online accounts, monitor alerts, lock and monitor your credit, protect yourself from scams and malware, and more.
You can learn more about Aura by clicking here. You can get a 14 day free trial to try it out and see what you think.
What do you do to protect yourself from financial fraud?