Common Financial Crimes & Scams: How To Stay Protected

The world is full of scammers, and the internet is a particularly fertile ground for them. Unfortunately, even the most vigilant people can find themselves tricked by one of these financial crimes. Fortunately, there are ways to protect yourself from getting taken advantage of—and this guide will give you all the knowledge you need to avoid being ripped off.

Charity fraud

Charity fraud is a type of financial crimes where a scammer pretends to be a charity or fundraiser, asking for money. The scammer may pretend to be a friend or family member of the person you are sending money too, or they might even claim to be an official representative of a government agency. The goal is always the same: get your money!

To avoid this type of scam:

  • Never give out personal information over the phone unless you know who’s calling you (and why). If someone calls claiming to represent an organization that asks for financial donations, hang up immediately and call that company directly using its website or phone number listed in the phone book–don’t use any other means of communication!
  • If someone sends out mailings asking for donations on behalf of their organization, check its legitimacy before donating any cash; look up their nonprofit status with Guidestar

Computer hacking

Hackers are able to steal personal information by accessing your computer remotely and taking advantage of security vulnerabilities. They can also use your computer to commit crimes such as identity theft or credit card fraud, which can have serious consequences for you if you’re not careful.

Identity theft

Identity theft is when a criminal steals your personal information, like your name and address, social security number or credit card number. The criminal then uses the stolen information to commit fraud by opening accounts in your name (which can lead to overdraft fees) or stealing money from your existing accounts.

Identity theft can occur in many ways: through the mail, over the phone or online. Criminals may also use other people’s identities as a way of getting access to bank accounts so that they can steal money directly from them – this type of crime is called “account takeover.”

Internet scams

The Internet is a great place to shop, but it can also be a dangerous place. Scammers use the internet to try and trick you into giving them money or personal information. There are many types of scams that are easy to fall victim to because they look so real, but the best way to protect yourself is by knowing what they are before they happen.

One type of scam commonly found online is called phishing–this occurs when someone sends you an email that looks like it’s from your bank or another website asking for your login information or credit card number so that they can verify something about your account. This kind of email should always raise red flags! If you receive one like this (or any other suspicious message), don’t open any links inside the email and contact whoever sent it directly instead by phone or email address listed on their website if possible. If the issue goes further, don’t be afraid to contact local authorities.

Phone scams

Phone scams are very common and can be very convincing. If you receive a call from someone claiming to be from your bank or credit card company, do not give out any personal or financial information over the phone. You should also avoid giving out credit card information over the phone unless you initiated the call yourself and know who is on the other end of it.

If you’re concerned that a caller may actually be legitimate, hang up and call back using another line (e.g., cell phone) so as not to provide them access to any more information than necessary while still verifying their legitimacy

Phishing scams

Phishing is a type of scam where scammers use fake emails to get personal information from you. They can pretend to be companies you do business with, like your bank or credit card company, or they could even pretend to be government agencies like the IRS. Their goal is always the same: they want you to give them access to your personal information so that they can steal it and use it for their own purposes.

To protect yourself against phishing scams:

  • Never click on links in emails from people or organizations that don’t know you personally (like friends). Instead, go directly to the website of whoever sent the email by typing its URL into your browser’s address bar at full speed without slowing down! If there’s something important in there – like directions on how best way get there – take note but don’t open any attachments until after verifying their authenticity first (more on this later).

Privy theft

Privy theft is the act of stealing money or other items from a person’s home, usually through a window or open door. A common example of privy theft is when someone breaks into your house while you’re away, steals something valuable and then leaves before they are caught.

In order to protect yourself from privy theft:

  • Lock all doors and windows whenever you leave your house even if it’s only for a few minutes. This includes garage doors as well; many people leave them open while they work in their garages because it makes getting in and out easier but this can make them vulnerable to thieves who want easy access into the home itself!
  • Keep valuables hidden away from windows so no one can see them when passing by outside (e.,g., jewelry boxes hidden under beds). If there are items that need display but aren’t worth much monetary value (e.,g., family photos), consider putting these behind glass frames instead so burglars won’t be tempted by them either way.”

Retail theft and shoplifting

Retail theft and shoplifting are two of the most common financial crimes in the United States. According to the National Retail Federation, retailers lost $44 billion to retail theft in 2018–that’s about $16 million every day! To put that number into perspective: it would take you more than 200 years of working at minimum wage ($7.25/hr) to earn that much money.

So what exactly is retail theft? Retail theft refers to any situation where someone steals items from a store without paying for them or alters their value so they can be sold at a discounted price. Shoplifting is one type of retail theft which involves taking an item off the shelf without paying for it and walking out of the store with it hidden on your person or concealed inside another bag, purse or container (this includes bags from other shops).

If you’ve ever wondered why stores have security guards posted near exits and cash registers–or why there are signs asking customers not go through checkout lines with more than one shopping cart–it’s because these measures help prevent shoplifters from leaving with unpaid merchandise!

Scam artists who play on your emotions for money.

Scam artists who play on your emotions for money.

Scam artists will use all kinds of tricks to get you to send them money, including emotional manipulation. They may try to make you think that someone close to you has been hurt or arrested and needs help right away, or they could pretend that they are a friend or relative in trouble and need help immediately. Scammers may also hijack your computer so it looks like the scammer is calling from another country when he or she really isn’t (this is called “spoofing”). The goal of these scams is always the same: get as much information from you as possible so they can attempt identity theft against you later on down the road!

There are many types of fraud, but the most common types are identity theft and charity fraud.

There are many types of fraud, but the most common types are identity theft and charity fraud.

Identity theft is when someone steals your personal information to commit fraud. For example, thieves may steal your credit card number and use it to buy things or open new accounts in your name. Charity scams involve collecting money for charities but not giving the funds to those charities.


These are just a few of the most common financial crimes. There are many others that can cost you money, including phone scams, phishing scams and privy theft. If you’re worried about being scammed or losing your identity in any way, make sure to check out our guides on how to protect yourself from these types of frauds!

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