Financial Scams: Avoiding And Identifying Financial Scams

Financial Scams: Avoiding And Identifying Financial Scams

Published on May 10, 2023

Financial scams are a major concern in today’s world due to the increasing use of technology and the internet. Scammers use various tactics to steal money and personal information. In this blog, we’ll explore common types of financial scams, how to recognize them, and tips to avoid falling victim to these scams. Being aware and taking steps to protect oneself can help individuals and businesses stay secure in their financial transactions.

What is Financial Scam?

A financial scam is a fraudulent activity in which individuals or organizations deceive others for financial gain. Financial scams can take many forms, including fake investment schemes, phishing emails, identity theft, and more. Scammers often target unsuspecting victims through various tactics, such as offering unrealistic returns, requesting personal information, or using fear or urgency to pressure the victim into making a hasty decision. The ultimate goal of a financial scam is to trick the victim into giving away money or personal information, which can have serious financial consequences.

Scams to Beware of in 2023

Bruemmer divides scams into two main groups: Phishing and social engineering. 

Phishing happens mostly online and involves fake messages that look like they come from trusted sources, like a bank or job. The scammer tries to get your personal information, like your credit card number or login information for your bank account. 

On the other hand, social engineering is often done over the phone and sometimes in person. Bad people use psychological tricks and lie to get their hands on your money or private information.

Financial scams that target older people are expensive, common, and getting worse. According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), there were 92,371 older people who were scammed in 2021, and they lost $1.7 billion. Compared to 2020, this was a 74% rise in the number of losses.

Why do money scammers target older people?

Fraudsters and con artists often target older people because they think this group has a lot of money saved up. But they don’t just go after rich older Americans. Fraud can also happen to older people with low incomes.

People usually don’t report financial scams or it’s hard to bring them to justice, so they’re seen as “low-risk” crimes. But they can be devastating for many older adults and put them in a weak position where they can’t easily get back what they lost.

Seven Ways to avoid financial scams 

Financial scams have been around for a long time, but they are happening more and more now that people have access to the Internet. Criminals can now try to scam you from anywhere in the world, they don’t have to be nearby. They are also getting better at it by coming up with new and clever ways to trick people into giving them private information. It’s getting harder and harder to tell which requests are real and which ones aren’t.

From 2020 to 2021, the amount of money lost to scams went up by 87%, to a total of $231 million. Fraud is the most common crime against older Canadians, and the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre says that 27,000 Canadians are victims of identity theft every year, which is probably a low estimate.

June is Seniors Month, which is an annual event in several provinces to honor and welcome older people. Here are seven ways to avoid financial scams during Senior Month.

  1. Examine your bank accounts: Check your credit card and bank records often to make sure you haven’t been charged without your permission. If you see a payment for something you don’t recognize, you should tell your bank right away so that you can challenge the charge.
  2. Change your passwords often and make sure they are strong: All of your online accounts should have strong passwords, and it’s a good idea to change them every so often. Don’t use the same password on more than one account. Follow our tips to make sure your passwords are strong.
  3. Shred sensitive information: Don’t throw away any private papers before you shred them. Scammers often go through your trash to find information like account numbers and passwords, which they can then use to get into your data or steal your identity. This is called “dumpster diving.” Always shred private documents like bank statements, tax forms, and other papers with account numbers, social security numbers, personal identification numbers, etc.
  4. Use the Internet without risk. Try not to use public Wi-Fi, because it’s not as safe and hackers may be able to get in. When you leave a public computer, like one in a library, you should always log out of any accounts you signed into. Make sure you are always on a secure website and Internet link when you are shopping online or entering any kind of sensitive information.
  5. Check the report on your credit. Contact one of the two main credit reporting companies in Canada, Equifax, and TransUnion, once a year to get a copy of your credit report. Many places will give you a free report. Check your credit records carefully to make sure that the information is correct. If you don’t know who owes you money, tell them you want to fight it.
  6. Double-check all email addresses and links: Scammers are getting better at getting people to click on links that are harmful. They pretend to be from the government or other companies to get you to trust them. Often, they use a feeling of urgency to get you to click on a link without fully reading it. Always pay close attention to email names and links to make sure they are real. If you’re not sure, you can call the company or government body to find out if they sent you a message. Most banks and government offices don’t text or send emails that aren’t secure, so be wary of these kinds of messages.
  7. Educate yourself: In the end, the best way to keep from falling for money scams is to learn about them. There are always new scams, so it’s important to stay up to date on what new tricks thieves are using. Here are the most popular money scams in the year 2022.

Why Scam Prevention Matters For Enterprise

How do you grow your business digitally while meeting customer expectations? This is one of the new business difficulties. And how likely is it that crime will happen to your business as it grows digitally?

Fraud and computer attacks are getting more sophisticated and taking advantage of weaknesses in businesses like yours to do a lot of damage. Cybercriminals steal 33 billion records of personal information and cause USD 6 trillion in damage each year, on average. And yes, you might have some tools and apps that can help, but the ones you have now are complicated, unique, and don’t work well together. Some organizations can use up to 85 tools from up to 40 vendors. This makes your IT stack more complicated and gives you too much info to handle.

How do you deal with so much complexity and information? There are ways to stop theft with IBM SecurityTM. IBM Security helps you make it easier to stop fraud and build trust in digital identities. This creates a good user experience by making login seamless and continuous throughout the user’s journey.

How avoiding scams helps your business

Rethink how you stop scams, give users a smooth experience, and show that you are always in compliance.

There are ways to find and stop scams

  • Phishing attack protection

Phishing attacks are the fourth most common cause of a malicious breach, so it’s important to protect the company, stop phishing, and fix the damage quickly if there is a breach.

  • Ransomware protection

IBM’s ransomware protection tools and experts can help you look at deep security analytics, combine security tools to learn more about threats, and make a response playbook for your teams.

  • Hunting for cyber threats

With cyber threat hunting solutions, you can find out about cyber threat actors and what drives them quickly so you can stop current risks and improve security against future ones.

  • Security for insider threats

Insider threats can be either malicious or unintentional. Insider threat security solutions can help you find these threats, look into them, and react to attacks.

  • Intelligence on threats

You get more than just indicators and alerts with IBM threat intelligence products. You get correct, up-to-date information about threats, attackers, how they work, and how to protect yourself from them.


In conclusion, it is crucial to be aware of the various financial scams and take necessary measures to protect oneself from falling prey to them. Being vigilant and skeptical of unsolicited offers or requests for personal information can go a long way in avoiding financial fraud. Additionally, keeping up-to-date with the latest scams and staying informed about the best practices for protecting one’s financial information is essential.

Remember, if something seems too good to be true, it probably is. Trust your instincts and always do your due diligence before making any financial decisions. By taking proactive steps and remaining alert, we can reduce the risk of financial scams and safeguard our hard-earned money.

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