The Most Common Types of Consumer Fraud
Those who commit consumer fraud are fraudsters who prey on ignorance. Therefore, the best defense against consumer fraud is education. Do not allow yourself to be victimized. Read the following and learn about the most common forms of consumer fraud.
According to the FBI, the victims of most modern mortgage scams are distressed homeowners. Common scams include foreclosure rescue schemes, loan modification schemes and equity skimming. Perpetrators are typically those with specialized knowledge, such as real estate and mortgage professionals. It is always best to seek references. Check credentials. If a transaction seems too good to be true or you feel pressured, just walk away. Most importantly, do not sign any paperwork that you do not understand.
Debit Card Fraud
You ask the waiter or waitress for the check. He or she takes your card, walks to the register and finally returns it along with your receipt. You add a tip, sign it and you are on your way. This describes the typical dining experience, even for fraud experts. Therefore, anyone can fall victim to debit card fraud. All it takes is that waiter or waitress selling your account information. The next thing you know strange transactions begin appearing on your account. It can be difficult, but try not to let your debit card out of your sight and check your account daily.
Immediately dismiss high-pressure pitches. If it does not feel right, it is not right. Never give cash. Be aware of con artists who prey on those who are sympathetic and generous. With a legitimate charity, you should be able to obtain contact information and look up the charity online. Make sure the charity is using donations for the intended purpose. Also, the charity must be an IRS-approved nonprofit.
You may not have heard of this one, but the FTC receives tens of thousands of complaints about this type of fraud every year. It often targets the elderly, originating with a phone call or postcard from Jamaica. Victims are asked to send money to cover taxes for a prize that they have won. If they comply, they are further harassed for even more money. Many victims fail to report being scammed and the stolen money is rarely recovered. Fraudsters even operate from “sucker lists” containing victims’ names and contact information. Be skeptical if you do not recall entering a lottery, or if you are told you have to pay money to collect on your winnings.
Fraud may be a crime and also a civil offense and those who commit fraud may be criminals. Yet, more often than not, those criminals are unethical professionals and corporations, not street thugs. Regardless, if you even suspect that you might be the victim of any type of consumer fraud, please contact this office and schedule an appointment.
The Law Office of H. Benjamin Sharlin LLC
is owned and operated by H. Benjamin Sharlin and serves all of Mercer County, New Jersey and the surrounding areas. Mr. Sharlin is a bilingual Spanish-speaking attorney who vigorously represents the interests of all his clients.
Call (609) 585-0606 or click the button below to schedule an appointment