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How to Detect Fraud and Identity Theft

Posted by Tom Hallissey on Jul 15, 2019 10:00:00 AM

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Fraud has emerged as a major financial concern for both businesses and individuals. In fact, 30 percent of American consumers were notified of a data breach in 2018 alone, according to data from the Federal Trade Commission. Avoid becoming the next victim of this troubling trend by learning how to detect fraud and identity theft today.

How to Detect Fraud: 7 Things to Watch out for

One of the keys to detecting fraud is to remain vigilant. The first step is to start regularly monitoring your financial account. You will then be able to notice inconsistencies that could be an early sign of fraudulent activity.

Signs of Potential Fraud

  • Unexpected charges on bank and credit accounts
  • Unrecognizable accounts on your credit report
  • Financial bills or statements stop coming in the mail
  • Your checks are way out of order on your bank statement
  • Banks or financial institutions unexpectedly freeze your accounts
  • A surprise denial of credit
  • Notifications about your address, password or other personal information that you did not make

Although these basic tips will help you learn how to detect fraud, con artists are becoming cleverer and cleverer every year. Today, everyone must remain vigilant in order to stay safe.

A graphic that show locks protecting a dollar bill.

How to Spot Identity Theft

The simple steps of learning how to detect fraud and identity theft can pay serious dividends for both businesses and individuals.

If it Sounds too Good to be True…

A big part of avoiding fraud and identity theft is using basic common sense.

Do you not remember entering a lottery or contest? Then, there’s a good chance that you didn’t win it.

As a general rule, if an email or voicemail sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Watch out for wire transfer email scams

Another common tactic scammers use is sending an urgent request for money via an email or social media site. Whether the message promises an inheritance from a lost relative or announces an unexpected foreclose, sending wire transfers in response to unsolicited requests is not generally a good idea.

A person considers whether to answer a robocall


Lately, it seems like everyone is getting hit with robocalls on their cell phones. These illegal recorded sales pitches are very often scams. If you answer one, the best thing to do is hang up immediately. Don’t call back and don’t push a button to talk to a live person.

Do your Homework

After you have learned the basics of how to detect fraud and identity theft, stay updated about the latest scams and tactics via the Federal Trade Commission’s OnGuardOnline website.

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Since 1949, S,L&C has provided professional accounting and business advisory services from New York to California. Now, our blog contains some of the latest news, trends and tips to help you prosper financially.  

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