If you’re worried about falling victim to financial fraud, here are a few important steps to take to protect yourself.
U.S. consumers have now lost $586 million to fraud related to the pandemic, according to data from the Federal Trade Commission. All told, Americans filed over 269,000 fraud claims between the beginning of 2020 and mid-October of 2021. The typical fraud victim lost $392, but unfortunately, that number skews higher for older consumers. The median loss for those over 80 was $1,000. Talk about devastating.

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1. Know the makings of a scam

Financial scams usually take a certain form. They start with an email, phone call, or text message informing you that you’ve either won money or are being penalized for something and need to pay to avoid consequences.

Sometimes, when those scams come via email, criminals use addresses that are made to look like they belong to official government organizations. For example, you might get an email from “taxinfo@irs.com” stating that you need to…

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