America’s Debt Help Organization estimates that 32 million American adults lose money every year as a result of consumer fraud. Are you protecting yourself against consumer fraud?
What Is Consumer Fraud?
Consumer fraud includes any situation where an individual suffers from a personal or financial loss because of false or misleading business practices. An example of this is a illegitimate charity sending out an email soliciting money for “people in need”. The emails preys on an individual’s desire to help others in order to gain personal information.
Who Is At Risk For Consumer Fraud?
No one person is completely safe from consumer fraud, even the most educated consumer can fall victim. However, the most frequent victims are elderly adults and college students. In fact, 57% of consumer fraud victims are over the age of 50! (Retirement Industry Trust Associations) And in 2014, 18% of identity theft victims were between the ages of 20 and 29. (Federal Trade Commission)
What Are Some Examples Of Consumer Fraud?
There are many categories of consumer fraud, but a few of the most common are:
- Identity Theft
- Credit Card Fraud
- Phone Fraud
- Internet Fraud
- Fake Charities
So How Can You Protect Yourself?
Utilize online resources. Do searches of any organization, company, etc. that you are not familiar with. Pay attention to online reviews from other consumers. Ask around to family and friends to see if they have experience with the organization in question.
Beware Of Phone Calls
Technology makes it very simple for individuals to “hack” caller ID. Never exchange sensitive information over the phone, especially if you are not familiar with the individual or company. If you do believe the call to be legitimate, hang up and call the organization back at a trusted number.
Always hang up on automated, recorded sales pitch calls. These calls are illegal. Do not press a number to speak to a person or to be taken off the list. Hang up and report the number to the FTC.
If you are a victim of consumer fraud and need a lawyer, please contact us today!
Disclaimer: This is not intended to be a complete, detailed piece of information about consumer fraud. For the most up-to-date, complete information, visit the Federal Trade Commission.