Three Types Of Fraud: Most Common, Most Dangerous

By: Michael Russell

Fraud. The intentional use of deceit, a trick or some dishonest means to deprive another of their money, property, or a legal right. Fraudster. A person who intentionally
deceives a consumer or business to deprive them or their money,property, or a legal right. Fraud is a crime in the United States, but unfortunately, those who commit fraud largely go
unpunished and continue to victimize consumers and businesses. In 2005 in telemarketing and internet frauds, an average of $19 million dollars was the total loss to fraud. In 2004, it was $9
million dollars. That is a $10 million dollar increase in one year. More and more fraudsters are finding new methods to deceive consumers, but the most used schemes are Phishing, Pharming
and Work-At-Home Scams. These schemes are achieved either through the Internet, Telemarketing, or both.

Phishing is defined as a fraudster calling or e-mailing the consumer pretending to be a
legitimate business, bank, organization, or government agency wanting the consumer to confirm their personal information. Personal information is addresses, names, dates of birth, account numbers, pin numbers, access codes, etc. Anything for the fraudster to access the consumer's account. Reasons or excuses the fraudster will use to gain this access are, "Your account is about to close unless...Our computers lost your information so if you would...An order was placed in your name if you would give us.". Now, once the information is given, the fraudster has
access to their account. Once the consumer has been hooked by a phisher it is their responsibility to act immediately. They must contact the companies with which they have accounts and notify them of the phishing. But what are the ways to avoid being
'Phished'? Verify. Verify the company being represented. Verify the caller. Check with state and/or local consumer protection agencies and the Better Business Bureau about the
company. If the consumer protection agencies or the Better Business Bureau cannot confirm the company then the company or caller is fraudulent and the call or e-mail was phishing. It is asked if you encounter phishing that you notify the company that the fraudster was representing. Now, pharming is when a virus or malicious program is planted into the computer and hijacks the consumer's web browser. Then when the consumer types a web
address they are taken to a phony site and when they enter in their personal information, more specifically their account number and password, the fraudster can then steal that information and use it fraudulently. Of course, this is all done without the
consumer's knowledge. That is the whole idea behind pharming. Pharming is more sophisticated than phishing and much more dangerous. But if that is true, how do you avoid being a victim to pharming? Certification. The servers or websites would have to add another layer of authentication that is certification. They would have to prove to you that they are who they say they are and establish a trusted link with you. Of course, that would require obtaining a certificate from a certificate authority such as VeriSign. Now, when you visit a site that uses certification a dialog box will appear asking you if you want to trust the site or
certificate. If the name on the certificate does not match the name on the site then something is wrong. The only way you can protect yourself from pharming is to use sites that use certification as described above. If you believes that your web browser has
been hijacked then you will have to contact your Internet Security Provider to resolve the problem. Work-at-Home scams are jobs that people or consumers do in the comfort of their own home. These are paid jobs. But unfortunately, most Work-at-Home jobs
are scams. They promise huge amounts of profit, little work time and other unrealistic promises. But how to point them out? First, Work-at-Home jobs never promise big profits in
little time. Second, you should ask for more information on what you will be doing and for whom. Third, you must know whom you are dealing with. You should find out if the company is
legitimate by contacting your state or local consumer protection agencies and the Better Business Bureau. Fourth, you should get references. You should ask the employees of the company if the company itself keeps its promises. Lastly, you should be aware of the refund policy. You should inquire with the company under what circumstances you would be allowed a refund against your purchase.

Now, three of the most common or most dangerous types of frauds were named. Each type of fraud was explained and what you could do to avoid or protect yourself from

these types of fraud. But what if you are a victim of one of these? What should you do? There are four steps that you, a consumer should follow if you are a victim of fraud. First, you must contact the fraud department in one of three credit bureaus (TransUnion, Equifax, Experian) to have a fraud alert placed on your credit report. The alert tells the creditors to follow certain procedures before opening a new account with you, the consumer. Second, you should close any accounts that have the fraudulent activity or have been opened fraudulently. Third, you should file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) about the fraudulent activity. Lastly, you need to file a report with the local police authorities. Once filed you need to give a copy to your Federal Trade Commission ID Theft complaint form. This action helps you with creditors who need proof of the crime in order to remove it from your credit report.


Pharming and Work-at-Home scams are the most common types of fraud today. One can request verification of personal information, another can take it without the consumer’s knowledge and another can make false promises. More and more consumers are becoming victims of fraud because the scams are becoming more sophisticated. But you, the consumer, have the best weapon and protection against fraud. Education. If you were able to educate yourself on fraud you would be less likely to become a victim of it. So, educate yourself. Learn everything you can about fraud. Research it, ask about it and know your enemy. Phishing, Pharming and Work-at-Home scams are only three of many types of fraud. Learn about them all and find out how to protect yourself them. Don’t be a victim of fraud.

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