MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - This week is International Fraud Awareness Week, a global initiative to raise awareness about fraud prevention and anti-fraud education.
Fraud affects your life more than you may realize, especially as more of our day to day life enters the digital world.
In 2017, nearly 16.7 million people were victims of identity fraud in the United States alone, with fraudsters stealing over $16.8 billion. It’s not just individuals, but also businesses (both large and small) that are at risk of being defrauded.
In fact, organizations worldwide lose an estimated five percent of their annual revenues to fraud, according to the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners.
The Alabama Securities Commission put together a list of tips to help us protect ourselves:
- ASC regulates main street investing in Alabama. Before you invest verify the registration of the investment professional and request a free industry background check.
- Take advantage of free shipping to local retailers; pick up high-value items at the store.
- When you schedule a home repair, call the company before and ask the name of the technician and what time they will arrive. Be wary of strangers that come to your home.
- The best solution is to carefully review all your financial statements. Check each line item, make sure you understand the entire statement.
- Consider giving on a regular and well studied basis. Research before giving: Better Business Bureau’s Wise Giving Alliance, Charity Navigator and Charity Watch. Is the organization contacting you (by phone, mail or email) and asking for donations legitimate?