Fraud and Scams Glossary
Elder financial exploitation
Elder financial exploitation is the illegal or improper use of an older adult’s funds, property, or assets. It is the most common form of elder abuse, but only a small fraction of incidents are reported.The perpetrators can be strangers who gain the trust of older adults, but they can also be family members or friends. It’s important to know the warning signs. Read more.
Foreclosure relief scam
Fraud alert for prevention
A fraud alert is something you can use to reduce the likelihood that you will be the victim of new account identity theft. It requires creditors who check your credit report to take steps to verify your identity before opening a new account, issuing an additional card, or increasing the credit limit on an existing account. When you place a fraud alert on your credit report at one of the nationwide credit reporting companies, the company must notify the others.There are two main types of fraud alerts: initial fraud alerts and extended alerts. Members of the military have an additional option available to them—active duty alerts, which give service members protection while they are on active duty. Read more.
Fraud by fiduciaries
A fiduciary is someone who manages someone else’s money or property. For example, agents under a power of attorney and court-appointed guardians are fiduciaries.When you are named a fiduciary, you are required by law to manage the person’s money and property for his or her benefit, not yours. When a fiduciary spends the money for his or her own benefit, that may be fraud.
Identity theft occurs when someone steals your identity to commit fraud.Stealing your identity could mean using personal information without your permission, such as your name, Social Security number, bank account information, or credit card number. The about preventing and responding to identity theft.
Security freeze for prevention
A security freeze prevents new creditors from accessing your credit file and others from opening accounts requiring a credit check in your name, until you lift the freeze.Because most businesses will not open credit accounts without checking your credit report, a freeze can stop identity thieves from opening new accounts in your name. Be mindful that a freeze doesn’t prevent identity thieves from taking over existing accounts. Read more.
Spoofing occurs when a caller disguises the information shown on your caller ID. This gives the caller the ability to disguise or “spoof” the name and/or number to appear as though they are calling as a certain person from a specific location.