Popular Improper Billing practices and Fraud schemes

When was the last time you received a scam call? Many of us have received scam calls from different people – working in the sales department of organizations, and banks. If you’re reading this article, you may have experienced a scam too.

There are many types of scams that may include, but are not limited to: inventory theft, check tampering, theft in services, cash/reimbursements, health insurance frauds, and the list continues. Most of the time, the senior citizens are the easy target for scammers, in the wake of unethical medical billing practices, medical billing fraud, improper billing, advertisements misleading consumers, etc.

To protect yourself from frauds and scams you need to make sure that you have complete knowledge about the scams, how to identify and report them.

Don’t worry though, we will provide you detailed information about some common fraud schemes and unethical practices so that you are aware of them.

Sweepstakes you didn’t apply for:

Have you noticed how scammers trick you?

Congratulations!! You just won the million-dollar lottery!  You just have to pay the taxes on your winning amount. Follow the steps given in the link to have your cash.

How a lay-man reacts to a message or email like this?

You just found yourself lucky to have a million-dollar lottery, without even applying for it – and guess what! You have got the lottery. Most probably, the tax will be deducted right after this message, but you know what! That tax – you paid for your non-existent lottery – has gone down the drain.

What can you do to avoid this trick? Never ever believe any email or message claiming that you have won such an amount if you haven’t purchased the lottery. Secondly, block all scamming alerts in your email and cellphone.

Internet sales:

You wanted to exchange your vehicle, or even sell it for a better price. You asked for a recommendation from your friend and visited the same website. Someone approaches you online to buy your vehicle for $15,000, and mistakenly provides you with a cheque of $20,000.

You contact the buyer to sell your car. The buyer asks you to return the extra amount to his account. You dispatch your vehicle to the buyer along with the extra amount.

Now you get the message from your bank that the cheque you submitted has bounced, and all your efforts go in vain.

Now you have lost both your car and your cash. In such a case, you can contact the website to report the person, and notify others to beware of that buyer.

Internet Friends:

You accept a friend request over the internet and befriend someone you didn’t know before. After some time, he asks you for a favor to make a few exchanges – confiding their family issue or something. He then asks you for the money after every few days. But in actual there’s seems to be nothing that much serious.

Never show your sympathy to those who don’t deserve it and avoid sending money to the people you don’t know in person – regardless of how the incident feels legitimate.

Debit and Debit card fraud:

These frauds occur when you find improper billing statements on your credit card bill. Also, if someone finds your credit card – and instead of returning it – he makes a huge transaction on your card.

Debit and credit card scams are categorized as consumer frauds. If you get any of these alerts, consider it as a red flag:

  • You get your monthly credit statement, and you find the transactions you didn’t make.
  • You encounter the unusual presence of the distant location charges.
  • You receive messages, and emails asking for the confirmation of the transaction.
  • You are unfamiliar with the company name, and product your statement has mentioned.

It is important to check your emails and account regularly. Contact the bank officials to know the details you identify in your statement, and if you have dropped your card anywhere, then get it blocked immediately. Contact the CFPB (Consumer Financial Protection Bureau) if you don’t satisfy with your bank support.

Fake Charities:

According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), charity frauds are similar to real charity schemes. You should avoid such schemes. If you are pressurized to donate for a charity organization, that has no real existence, you can seek help from Charity Navigator or Charity Watch, and protect yourself against these fake charities.

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