|Finance (Photo credit: Tax Credits)|
What Is Financial Abuse and Scams?
Financial abuse is subtle form of fraudulent activity that is mainly perpetrated by someone on whom you trust blindly. It can be your financial advisor, tax consultant or even a near relative who has access to your earning as well as bank account details. They might access your account and steal or invest a negligible amount of money without your permission. When such actions are taken by a person on whom you have full trust, it is called financial abuse and scams. However, it is extremely difficult for the victim to understand that he or she is being exploited as the perpetrators always chose such victims who would not realize that is being mistreated or will not be able to protest.
The Target Group
It is generally seen that swindlers target the older persons for falling prey to their scam. Research conducted in this regard show that the old people are generally much more confident and optimistic when it comes to taking financial and other decisions. Moreover, it is also seen that their ability to analyze things quickly also declines to quite an extent. Thus, they are the target audience of the cheats. Therefore, all of us and specially the older people need to take certain solid steps to protect themselves.
Here are top five ways whereby financial scams and abuse can be avoided:
Share Your Bank Statements
According to Burton Copeland, While sharing the accounts details with one person is not a good idea, sharing it with many close associates and professionals can be beneficial. Make an effort to forward the e-statements to your old friends, grandchildren and your advisors as they will be able to detect the frauds or misappropriation, odd transactions or latest investments from your account which you might have overlooked. However, make sure you are circulating it among your close knit circle only as these documents are really important.
Acquaintance Is Important
Most of us seek the aid of many specialists to look after our finance. Therefore, you have a team of tax consultants, investment advisors and real estate advisors working for you. It will be a good idea to introduce them with each other as this decrease the chance of any fraudulent activity in your account. Since all of them would want to maintain a cordial relation with you for their future business, you will be hinted about any financial abuse by any one of them. However, if too many advisors are trying to convince you for a particular financial product, then you should make extra effort to review the product before buying it.
Beware of Promise of High Return
If an investor is promising you unbelievable return from a particular investment, then you definitely smell danger. Always remember that if the investment is genuine, then the return from it will be less but steady. So do not fall prey to such lucrative offers made by the investors or any other persons.
Avoid ‘Pocket Littering’
We always carry with ourselves some valuable and sensitive information so that we can access them easily. For example, the passwords or the ping numbers are stored in our cell phone or computers or wallets. Crooks can use this sensitive information to access your accounts and perform some illegal activities. Therefore, if you are using computer or mobile phone for accessing your accounts, then make sure to log out of the account and not let any other person know your password. Moreover, it is best to keep these vital numbers at your home only.
Do Not Take Decision in Haste
Another important measure that can safeguard you from financial fraud is not taking decision in haste. If an investor is pressurizing you to sign a deal quickly, then it indicates that he is actually trying to stop you from reviewing all the aspects of the investments. So be very conscious to avoid such problems. Moreover, all lawful financial products come with a detailed brochure stating all the terms and conditions. If there isn’t sufficient disclosure, then it is not a good idea to make such investment.
By taking these steps, you can avoid financial scams and abuse. It is a matter of being a bit more careful and cautious and does not involve any excess expenditure. So do not let any other person fool you with your hard earned money.