by Christy Bieber | Feb. 11, 2019
You work hard for your money, and you deserve to keep it. Unfortunately, there are tons of scammers and criminals out there who would just love to get their hands on American workers' hard-earned cash.
And the data shows they're succeeding.
The number of reported financial scams increased in 2018, and most experts believe this troubling trend will continue -- especially as we become ever more reliant on technology for all of our transactions.
To protect yourself from a financial threat, it helps to know what you're up against. Here's some of the troubling data -- and some tips on how to keep the scammers at bay.
To get an idea of how much financial fraud rose in 2018, you can look to the Scam Tracker run by the Better Business Bureau. There were 49,387 scam reports submitted across America last year, according to the BBB. That's one report every 11 minutes. It's also 1,560 more scam reports than were submitted the year prior.
Scams of all different types were reported, including:
As if all this weren't troubling enough, the FTC also estimated that consumers were on track to lose $3 billion in cryptocurrency scams by the end of 2018.
If you managed to avoid becoming one of the many scam victims in 2018, don't assume you're not still vulnerable. FICO identified emerging payment solutions as a trend to watch: As more people switch to peer-to-peer (P2P) payment networks and mobile wallets instead of cash and checks, criminals will move aggressively into these new markets.
The faster new technologies develop, the more likely they are to become the targets of unscrupulous actors. The Nilson Report predicts that merchants, card issuers, and merchant acquirers will face losses of around $34.67 billion due to fraud across the world by 2022. Around $12.1 billion of these losses are expected to come from the U.S.
Since we've already seen major retailers targeted, ranging from Target to T-Mobile, warnings of widespread merchant losses due to fraudsters should worry every consumer. Merchants will need to find new ways to protect their customers -- and Payments Journal warns that the quest to balance security and convenience is likely to be the No. 1 fraud challenge businesses face.
Safeguarding your money and sensitive information is a continual challenge. But there are some ways you can reduce the chances that you'll fall victim to fraud. Some tips include:
By keeping these tips in mind, hopefully you can avoid becoming one of the increasing number of victims who lose out to thieves.
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