Fraud occurs when a criminal uses proprietary information or deception for personal gain. Fraud has many guises and forms, and is a problem for both businesses and individuals. Creating a good fraud protection system can be vital to keeping money, personal information, credit rating, and even a reputation safe. There are many different tips for creating good fraud protection, but the bottom line behind most tips and tricks is to be constantly on guard.
With online fraud through phishing and spam scams on the rise, personal information should never be given in response to an email, even with a company that has a relationship to the email recipient. If a bank or online merchant sends an email request for personal information, use another source, such as a search engine, to look up the customer service number for the company. Call the company and verify that the email is legitimate before giving out information. Most reputable companies will never ask for account information by email to begin with, because of the high risk of fraud.
In addition to keeping personal information as private as possible, it is important to create fraud protection by regularly checking bank statements and credit reports. Discrepancies caused by fraud are easy to miss if a person checks in with account statements irregularly. A free credit report is often available once per year, and should be examined to make sure that no fraudulent accounts have been registered in a victim's name. Some people also go an extra mile by signing up with a credit monitoring service for more regular updates, or by taking out fraud insurance against the possibility of identity or credit theft.