On June 7, 2023, Wednesday, at 12:00pm-1:00pm, St. Therese of Lisieux will be hosting an educational offering to parishioners and the community on ways to protect ourselves from the ever increasing crime of fraud, so although that is a month away, mark your calendars to save that date! Macomb County Prosecutor, Peter Lucido, will present information on the different types of fraud and scams, which now seem to be prevalent, and different strategies on how to recognize and avoid becoming a victim to these crimes.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) which tracks fraud, identity theft and other consumer complaints received 3.2 million of these complaints in 2019, which was a rise of 3 percent rise from 2018. Of those complaints, 1.7 million were fraud complaints, and 651,000 complaints of identity theft.
One example of fraud is online fraud, which can include both financial and identity theft. Online fraud can come in many forms, from viruses that attack computers to gain personal information, to email schemes to lure people into sending money to fake sources, to “phishing” emails from companies and official/government agencies to solicit information to commit identity theft. The methods used by perpetrators of online fraud are constantly evolving.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) said the most common method used by fraudsters to get in touch with victims last year was by telephone, followed by websites, e-mail, consumer-initiated contacts, mail and other.
The most common ways fraudsters collected payments based on reports were: wire transfers, credit cards, gift or reload cards, bank account debits, internet/mobile payments, cash or cash advances, checks, money orders and telephone bills. Measured in dollars, the top methods to pay fraudsters in 2019 were wire transfers, with $439 million lost; credit cards, $135 million; cash and cash advances, $120 million; and gift and reload cards, $103 million. And, as staggering as the amounts of money listed, many times victims do not report the scams they have been victimized by.
It is overwhelming to read about the many different ways each of us could become a victim to fraud and other related crimes, so that’s why it’s important to become as knowledgeable as possible about the different scams that seem to be prevalent and ways on how to avoid these scams.
Since will be providing a light lunch, we ask that you please RSVP to the St. Therese of Lisieux Office Secretary at 586-254-4433 or Marilyn Cito, Parish Nurse at 586-254-4433 Ext.#320 or via email at Marilync@stol.church.
Adapted from AARP, Consumer Fraud Complaints Hit Record High, Katherine Skiba, January 23, 2020.