Strategies of Defense against Fraud


As scams continue to evolve on and offline, protecting your personal information has become more important than ever.  With the evolution of IT (Information Technology), critical data is being passed back and forth through various computers and networks, often left unprotected and exposed to an array of exploits.  Because of this, it is very imperative to carefully manage your transactions and wisely mange your personal data.   

Since these crimes present themselves in many different variations, your front line of defense should always include awareness.  This can be done by familiarizing yourself with how scam artists operate. 

This article will detail some of the most popular types of fraud, how they are being carried out, and what can be done to protect yourself.                    

Common Scams Types of Scams and Fraud

- Prize winning scams

- Fake lottery drawings

- Work-at-home scams

- Mystery shopping scams

- Email fraud

- Auto insurance fraud

- Medical Insurance fraud

- Welfare fraud

- Homeowners' insurance fraud

- Identity theft


How Fraud May Be Committed

- Phishing

- Pharming

- Spyware

- Counterfeit checks

- Improper cost allocation

- Misuse of government contracts


10 Tips for Protecting Your Information

1.  Never give away personal or financial details via telephone or email unless you initiated the contact.

2.  Never open the attachment of an unsolicited email message.

3.  Properly discard old bank statements, invoices and credit approvals.  These items should be destroyed in a cross-cut shredder.

4.  Never leave your Social Security card or driver's license in the possession of a stranger.

5.  Remain cautious of potential criminals when making transactions in public.

6.  Conduct a thorough background check on any company or charity you plan to make a donation to. 

7.  Be sure to entirely delete the hard drive on any computer you plan to discard or donate. 

8.  Practice extreme caution when browsing and making purchases on the internet

9.  Prevent remote access to your computer by implementing quality firewall hardware or software. 

10.  Protect your computer with anti-virus, spyware and spam software. 


Carefully Review Your Credit Report

In many instances, most consumers will only check their credit report when the time comes to apply for an automobile loan or a home mortgage.  Sadly, this is also a time when people often discover major discrepancies; those that may indicate signs of fraud or worse, identity theft.  It is very important that you review your credit report on a routine basis.  By doing this, you can ensure that all of your accounts are current when the time comes to put your good credit to use. 

If you do happen to notice errors on your credit report, immediately take note of the discrepancies, build your case and contact the appropriate companies.

Reporting Suspicious Activity

If you suspect that your checks, credit or debit card have been compromised, lost or stolen, you should report those suspicions to your local police department.  Be sure to take note of the items in question, relative dates and amounts of the losses endured.  These are important factors when it comes to making your case.  Contact all of the companies and financial institutions related to the debt and notify them of your situation.  Fully recovering from fraud is often a grueling task so the sooner you start, the better.

Additionally, you can file complaints, learn more about the latest scams and how to defend against fraud by visiting the online home of the United States FTC (Federal Trade Commission):

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With the advent of wireless Internet, more and more computer users are entering the world of cyber space.

Yet, while these users are well aware of the importance of the protection of their computer when hooked up to regular internet providers, they are often oblivious to the fact that the same cyber dangers, and in fact even more, exist in the world of WiFi.

What you may not know is that same Internet connection that makes it possible to check your email from the comfort of your bed also makes it easier for hackers to access your personal information.

It is for this reason, the sharing of the wireless Internet connection, that protecting your computer when wireless is even more important than ever before.