Okinus Site Map

What Is Consumer Fraud And What Does It Mean For You?

Fraud Alert Concept With Security Lock on Fake Credit Cards
Consumer fraud is defined as deceptive practices that lead to financial or other losses to consumers. Victims of crime are commonly led to believe that they are engaging in a legitimate opportunity. But, they are duped by false claims or promises that lead to damages.

The Federal Trade Commission reports that consumer fraud rose more than 70% between 2020 and 2021. Fraud crimes cost American citizens billions of dollars annually. Consumers should be aware of a variety of sorts of fraud. Okinus Credit Solutions warns that fraud is a problem for all individuals, regardless of age, gender, or financial status.

Identity Theft

Criminals obtaining various personal information enables them to engage in identity theft. Names, addresses, phone numbers, account numbers, credit card numbers, billing statements, and social security numbers represent some of the information that scam artists use to steal from consumers.

After obtaining someone’s personal information, criminals may make purchases, establish new false accounts or burglarize private homes. The data might be obtained by stealing documents from mailboxes. Thieves might forage through trash bins for documents.

Avoid adding personal data to social sites. Security specialists advise consumers to use a cross-cut paper shredder before disposing of records. Perhaps consider going paperless by checking balances, making purchases, or paying bills online or via a mobile device.

Phishing Scams

Okinus Credit Solutions reports that the crime commonly involves sending consumers a seemingly official letter or email stating that a financial problem needs to be addressed and corrected.

The letter or email may request personal information in the form of a social security number or an account number. Consumers must resist the urge to supply the required information. Instead, contact the institution to verify that a problem exists.

Similar scams might include promised refunds by state or federal revenue services. But, the consumer must first provide a social security number or other types of personal information. However, the IRS and state institutions do not contact individuals by email.

Grandparent or Relative Scam

Criminals typically target older adults to obtain funds. A scam artist commonly contacts an elderly individual by phone, masquerading as a grandchild or other young relative. The perpetrator claims they are in dire straits or involved in an emergency requiring immediate funds during the conversation.

If the adult does not become suspicious and does not terminate the conversation, the criminal then requests that the person wire transfer money or send some gift to a specific location. The older adult should contact other family members to verify the event. Family members also need to protect vulnerable older adults suffering from diminished cognitive ability to prevent financial scams from occurring.

 

Okinus Credit Solutions in South Pelham, Georgia, is prepared to assist consumers in making purchases. Visit our facility or website. Feel free to call us for answers to your questions. For convenience, complete and apply online.