Recognize. React. Report. Don't fall victim to financial exploitation

May 22, 2020

Know the signs of financial fraud and learn how to protect yourself.

 

Criminals use financial exploitation and fraud to deplete the assets of their targets. Fortunately, there are measures you can take to be vigilant of suspicious requests and monitor your financials. In the event you are targeted, you can work with the authorities and other entities to report your case.

 

Recognize: What to watch out for

Be suspicious if:

  • A communication states that you’ve won money, a prize or a free gift — especially if you’ve never entered a raffle or drawing
  • You must pay for processing, shipping and/or taxes on your “free gift”
  • You must wire or send money to assist someone in need or receive “winnings”
  • You feel pressured to act because you’ve been “selected” to receive a special offer
  • A communication requires you to respond with your full credit card or bank account number
  • You feel uncomfortable with a caregiver’s access to your accounts
  • Remember — if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is!

 

React: How to protect yourself

Be proactive: 

  • Set up account alerts
  • Organize and store important documents in a safe but easily accessible location
  • Carefully consider who has access to your accounts
  • Understand the risks of granting access to your accounts (joint ownership, sharing login credentials and sharing credit/debit cards can make it easier to be victimized)
  • Learn about common financial exploitation schemes and ploys
  • Review options with your financial institutions to help protect your accounts
  • Discuss financial accounts only with trusted friends, family members or financial advisors

 

Avoid financial exploitation:

  • Appoint a power of attorney to someone you do not trust to act in your interest 
  • Share your personal information (such as credit card numbers and expiration dates, bank account numbers, birth date and Social Security number) with people or companies you don’t know
  • Send money to people or companies you’re not familiar with
  • Allow strangers to come into your residence
  • Respond to, or pay up front for, an offer that you do not thoroughly understand
  • Sign blank forms or checks
  • Share your logins and passwords

 

Report: Who to contact

  • The police: Request a copy of the police report and case number.
  • U.S. Bank Fraud Liaison Center at 877-595-6256 (for U.S. Bank accounts).
  • Any of the three credit reporting agencies, Equifax, Experian, or TransUnion, to place a “fraud alert” on your credit file.
  • Your bank and/or credit card company.
  • Adult Protective Services (county or state).
  • The Federal Trade Commission's identity theft website or by calling 877-ID-THEFT (877-438-4338).
  • You can also find contact information at eldercare.gov or by calling 800-677-1116.

 

Learn more about how to protect yourself against financial fraud.

Related content

What corporate treasurers need to know about Virtual Account Management

For today's homebuyers, time and money are everything

Here’s how to create a budget for yourself

How to spot an online scam

Understanding guardianship and power of attorney in banking

How to use debt to build wealth

How to avoid student loan scams

How to prepare for healthcare costs in retirement

How much life insurance do I need?

3 types of insurance you shouldn’t ignore

8 steps to choosing a health insurance plan

The connection between your health and financial well-being

Is a Health Savings Account missing from your retirement plan?

7 things to know about long-term care insurance

Housing market trends and relocation impact

High-cost housing and down payment options in relocation

For today's relocating home buyers, time and money are everything

Crypto + Relo: Mobility industry impacts

Is your employer long term disability insurance enough?

Retirement planning in the gig economy

Unexpected retirement expenses

Year-end financial checklist

Checklist: financial recovery after a natural disaster

Dear Money Mentor: When should I refinance a mortgage?

How I did it: Bought a home without a 20 percent down payment

Starting your homebuying journey: Tips from a U.S. Bank Goals Coach

House Hacks: How buying an investment property worked as my first home

The lowdown on 6 myths about buying a home

Recognize. React. Report. Don't fall victim to financial exploitation

Multiple accounts can make it easier to follow a monthly budget

You can take these 18 budgeting tips straight to the bank

9 simple ways to save

How I did it: Learned to budget as a single mom

What is an escrow account? Do I have one?

Key milestone ages as you near and start retirement

5 financial goals for the new year

Money Moments: Tips for selling your home

Which is better: Combining bank accounts before marriage — or after?

What are conforming loan limits and why are they increasing

Does your savings plan match your lifestyle?

Don’t underestimate the importance of balancing your checking account

Do you and your fiancé have compatible financial goals?

Is it time to get a shared bank account with your partner?

Checking and savings smarts: Make your accounts work harder for you

Should you get a home equity loan or a home equity line of credit?

Quiz: How prepared are you to buy a home?

Reviewing your beneficiaries: A 5-step guide

What types of agency accounts are available for investors?

How to protect your digital assets in your estate plan

How to discuss money with your family

How to avoid being the victim of a digital payments scam

Webinar: Mobile banking tips for smarter and safer online banking

How to choose the right custodian for your managed assets

Checklist: 10 questions to ask your home inspector

5 things to avoid that can devalue your home

Fraud prevention checklist

5 reasons why couples may have separate bank accounts

7 steps: How couples and single parents can prepare for child care costs

Adulting 101: How to make a budget plan

Common unexpected expenses and three ways to pay for them

What you need to know about renting

5 tips for parents opening a bank account for kids

How to save for a wedding

It's possible: 7 tips for breaking the spending cycle

Money Moments: 3 smart financial strategies when caring for aging parents

Personal finance for teens can empower your child

Save time and money with automatic bill pay

First-timer’s guide to savings account alternatives

Myths vs. facts about savings account interest rates

Money Moments: 3 tips for planning an extended leave of absence

What’s in your emergency fund?

How I did it: Bought my dream home using equity

Buying a home Q&A: What made three homeowners fall in love with their new home

How I did it: Built living spaces to support my family

Spring cleaning checklist for your home: 5 budget-boosting tasks

Saving for a down payment: Where should I keep my money?

Your guide to breaking the rental cycle

Checklist: 6 to-dos for after a move

Webinar: Uncover the cost: Building a home

4 ways to free up your budget (and your life) with a smaller home

Get more home for your money with these tips

Money Moments: How to finance a home addition

How I did it: My house remodel

Building a dream home that fits your life

10 questions to ask when hiring a contractor

Is it the right time to refinance your mortgage?

10 ways to increase your home’s curb appeal

What is a home equity line of credit (HELOC) and what can it be used for?

Webinar: Uncover the cost: Home renovation

Is a home equity line of credit (HELOC) right for you?

10 uses for a home equity loan

Preparing for homeownership: A guide for LGBTQ+ homebuyers

Beyond the mortgage: Other costs for homeowners

How to use your home equity to finance home improvements

What to know when buying a home with your significant other

Webinar: Mortgage basics: How much house can you afford?

Webinar: Mortgage basics: Buying or renting – What’s right for you?

Webinar: Mortgage basics: What is refinancing, and is it right for you?

Webinar: Mortgage basics: Prequalification or pre-approval – What do I need?

Webinar: Mortgage basics: How does your credit score impact the homebuying experience?

Webinar: Mortgage basics: Finding the right home loan for you

Webinar: Mortgage basics: 3 Key steps in the homebuying process

8 steps to take before you buy a home

These small home improvement projects offer big returns on investment

What is refinancing a mortgage?

How do I prequalify for a mortgage?

6 questions to ask before buying a new home

Home equity: Small ways to improve the value of your home

Closing on a house checklist for buyers

What you need to know as the executor of an estate

How to prepare for a natural disaster

Learn to spot and protect yourself from common student scams

Protecting elderly parents’ finances: 6 steps to follow when managing their money

4 ways to outsmart your smart device

Money muling 101: Recognizing and avoiding this increasingly common scam

What you need to know about identity theft

What you need to know about financial fraud

From LLC to S-corp: Choosing a small business entity

5 tips for seniors to stay a step ahead of schemers

Recognize. React. Report. Caregivers can help protect against financial exploitation

Is online banking safe?

Identity stolen? 5 steps to take immediately

How you can prevent identity theft

Webinar: U.S. Bank asks: Are you safe from fraud?

8 tips and tricks for creating and remembering your PIN

Know your debt-to-income ratio

How to apply for federal student aid through the FAFSA

Your financial aid guide: What are your options?

Dear Money Mentor: How do I pick a savings or checking account?

Crypto + Homebuying: Impacts on the real estate market

Solutions banks can offer during the COVID-19 pandemic

Comparing term vs. permanent life insurance

Webinar: Mindset Matters: How to practice mindful spending

Post-pandemic fraud prevention lessons for local governments

Can you take advantage of the dead equity in your home?

CancelSave & Close Planning self-care moments that matter (and how to finance them)

How I did it: Turned my side hustle into a full-time job

Make your business legit

How to test new business ideas

5 steps to take before transitioning your business

How to expand your business: Does a new location make sense?

Does your side business need a separate bank account?

Fight the battle against payments fraud

Tactical Treasury: Fraud prevention is a never-ending task

Protecting cash balances with sweep vehicles

4 tips for protecting your business against Coronavirus-related scams

How to improve your business network security

Should you buy a house that’s still under construction?

Start of disclosure content

Loan approval is subject to credit approval and program guidelines. Not all loan programs are available in all states for all loan amounts. Interest rate and program terms are subject to change without notice. Mortgage, home equity and credit products are offered by U.S. Bank National Association. Deposit products are offered by U.S. Bank National Association. Member FDIC.

U.S. Bank is not responsible for and does not guarantee the products, services or performance of U.S. Bancorp Investments, Inc.