19 Feb

The Most Common Money Scams and Schemes in 2018

Every second of every day millions of humans and machines use the internet for both personal and business transactions via thousands of websites. Sadly, even with advanced security, there are those who try to fraudulently obtain other peoples hard earned cash or even their identities.

Being aware of the type of scams happening on the net and the tell-tale signs can help individuals and organizations prevent becoming cybercrime or scam victims.

As the saying goes, forewarned is forearmed and the number of people now taking up careers as CPAs (Certified Public Accountants) has dramatically increased as businesses are more aware than ever of their need to have auditing and investigative accounting as a security measure. This article ‘43 of the most commonly asked questions about CPAs’ highlights the role of a CPA in more detail.

Below are 3 of the most common money scams of 2018 to give an overview of what you should be paying attention to if you want to avoid being a money scam victim.

Email Scams

Various email scams have shown their faces in 2018 but there are some types of email scams that seem to have been around repeatedly in one form or other over the years. Many of these include overpayment fraud, advanced fee fraud and loan scams, for example.

Email scams are very easy and cheap for fraudsters to execute. Luckily for potential victims of this type of fraud, scammers do not seem to have improved their approach with these types of schemes. Most of their email content is very poorly written, some even still use email addresses that clearly do not relate to the company that is supposedly e-mailing you. Some, however, are more advanced and convincing which is why the best prevention is to double check all their information externally.

Fake Checks

There are a variety of check scams around now, but one of the most well-known is an overpayment to a person or business with a check. The sender makes some sort of excuse as to why the check was for more than the amount due, and creates a sense of urgency for the business or individual to either give them the overpayment back in cash or send a bank transfer for the difference. The check is fake, but it will take several days for the individual or business to find that out and in the meantime, they have sent the refund out of their own funds.

Some fake check can be easily identified; however, there is plenty of advice out there and security measures to take when it comes to transactions of this nature.

There are also many scams out there where attempts are made to find out intricate details about your checking account. If you feel your checking account has been compromised, you should call your bank immediately and shut it down. There are many companies offering free checking accounts as an alternative that are very easy to set up and will allow you to carry out business as usual.

CEO Scams

This scam is particularly related to businesses. The fraudster acquires the name of the person in a company that has the responsibility for business funds. They then pose as someone senior in the company like the CEO or chairman. With social media sites like LinkedIn, it has never been so easy to find out about the identity of those in senior positions.

The scammer, posing as the senior member of the business will contact someone in the finance department and apply a sense of urgency to a request for them to move money into a designated account. This scam is classed as a form of ‘phishing’ and the scammer usually looks for the most inexperienced or new person in the finance department to approach as they may not be fully aware of security protocol.

Enlist A Professional

If you are  are worried that you may have been the victim of any of these types of scam or some form of fraud or would like to identify any areas where you can increase protocol and preventative measures for these type of scams, engage the help of a consultant experienced with fraud and scams to help dig into the situation and give you peace of mind.

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