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Financial Losses Due To Fraud Essay

1802 words - 8 pages

In 2013, over $21 billion was lost to fraud nationwide, it is considered the fastest growing crime and is perpetrated in nearly every country in the world. Fraud can come in many different forms, from identity theft to the thousands of different scamming tactics used. In its essence, fraud simply refers to deceiving or cheating someone in order to make money or get personal gain. Last year 11,571,900 people became victims of fraud. Fraud is by far the most devastating and expensive crime in the world, and it continues to surge on in full force.
Fraud can take thousands of different forms. Fraudsters can use techniques ranging from mass scams to anyone with a telephone, computer, or mailing address, to taking on far more sinister tactics that exploit personal problems. One of the most popular tactics targets loving grandparents, “Scammers pretend to be a grandchild in need of money after being arrested or hospitalized while vacationing abroad.” (Kirchheimer 44). This con is one of the most effective, using the natural instinct to help loved ones to the advantages of the con men. Identity theft is also considered a section of fraud and is quickly becoming the most feared form of fraud. “…an identity thief can get cellular phones, bank withdrawals, go on shopping sprees, apply for a job or even health insurance with just your Social Security number and birth date…”, identity theft is one of the most devastating forms that fraud takes, it can destroy credit, empty bank accounts, and take away any chance of applying for insurance (Ballard 15 ). Other notorious types of fraud include phone scams, fake job offer scams, and the infamous Nigerian 419 scams.
“The most common forms of identity theft occur when someone obtains another person's social security number, driver's license number, date of birth, and the like and uses it to open a fraudulent bank, credit card, cellular telephone, or other account, or to obtain false loans.” (Colombia 1). In 2013 it was reported that 7% of U.S. households were victims of identity theft. Identity theft is one of the most insidious types of fraud; it can wipe out entire life savings in days and leave honest, hardworking people with nothing to support themselves with. Identity theft can be perpetrated by a fraudster obtaining personal information through everyday trash. Bank and credit card statements, bills, even reservation confirmations can be tools of destruction in the hands of an experienced con man. “Diligently rip up any information, credit card offers, old tax returns, bank statements, etc., that could be used against you.” (Ballard 15). Fraudsters will go to great lengths in order to make money, and they are definitely not above dumpster diving in order to obtain any personal information that could be used. “The occurrence of identity theft increased significantly beginning in the late 1990s due to the computerization of records and the ability to use another's personal information anonymously over the...

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