Fraud is a serious issue that can have a significant impact on individuals and businesses. It is important to be aware of the different types of fraud that exist in California and to take steps to protect yourself and your assets.
Here are 10 common white collar crimes concerning fraud for which you need to be on the lookout.
Identity theft occurs when someone uses another person’s personal information, such as their name, Social Security number or credit card information, to open accounts, make purchases or take out loans.
Phishing is when someone uses email, text messages or social media to trick individuals into giving away personal information or money.
Ponzi schemes involve an individual or organization that promises high returns on investments but then uses the money from new investors to pay off previous entrants.
Pyramid schemes require new members to pay a fee and recruit new members in order to make money.
Investment fraud consists of a party that misrepresents the value of an asset or misleads investors about the risks associated with the investment.
Charity fraudsters take advantage of people’s tendency to give to those less fortunate by misrepresenting themselves as a charity in order to solicit donations.
Medicare or insurance fraud
This type of fraud occurs when a health organization bills for services or goods that were not provided or bills for a higher amount than was actually charged for the services rendered.
Business fraud involves misrepresenting a business in order to gain a competitive advantage or make more money.
Internet auction fraud
Internet auction fraud results from misrepresenting an item for sale on an internet auction site or failing to deliver the item after it has been purchased.
Lottery or sweepstakes fraud
When an individual tells someone they have won a lottery or sweepstakes but requires them to pay money or provide personal information to claim their prize, it counts as lottery or sweepstakes fraud.
Caveat emptor comes from Latin and means “buyer beware.” When transacting with others or being approached about an opportunity, it is essential that you do your due diligence to avoid being scammed.