In the ever-evolving landscape of scams and fraud, staying ahead of the game is crucial. As an investigative agency, we continuously monitor emerging trends to arm our clients with the knowledge they need to safeguard their interests. Let’s dive into the top scams we’ve identified for 2023 and explore how you can protect yourself or your business from falling victim to these deceptive practices.
1. Family Law Case Frauds: Exploiting Vulnerable Moments
Overview: The unfortunate reality is that family events such as deaths, divorces, or instances involving child support become opportunities for some individuals to manipulate and seize assets. Whether it’s concealing bank accounts, transferring real estate, or switching beneficiaries on life insurance policies, family law case frauds are on the rise.
Advice: If you suspect fraudulent activities within your family during such critical moments, initiate asset searches and tracing. Don’t underestimate the prevalence of hidden assets, and seek legal advice to ensure a fair distribution in line with the deceased or divorcing party’s wishes.
2. The AI Scam: Distinguishing Fact from Fiction
Overview: In the era of artificial intelligence (AI), companies are quick to label themselves as AI-driven to attract investors and customers. However, many entities are exaggerating or falsely claiming to employ AI when, in reality, they rely on human labor. The AI scam targets investors and consumers seeking cutting-edge technology.
Advice: Before investing in or purchasing from a company claiming to be AI-driven, demand transparency. Ask for demonstrations of their AI systems and operations. If a company cannot provide clear evidence of their AI utilization, consider it a red flag and proceed with caution.
3. Business Sale Fraud: Beware of Inflated Numbers
Overview: Businesses for sale may exaggerate their revenue to inflate their value. Some unscrupulous sellers create deceptive bank accounts, showing activity that does not reflect actual sales. Buyers risk overpaying for businesses that don’t generate the claimed revenue.
Advice: When considering a business purchase, verify the financial numbers provided by examining actual bank accounts. Ensure that the revenue aligns with the claimed sales activity. Scrutinize the legitimacy of the accounts presented to you and consult with financial experts if needed.
4. Fake Transfer Fraud: Verifying Payment Details
Overview: Scammers leverage email deception to redirect legitimate payments to fake accounts. This type of fraud often targets companies handling wire transfers, ACH payments, or check payments. Businesses receive seemingly authentic invoices or payment details, only to discover they’ve fallen victim to a payment diversion scam.
Advice: Exercise extreme caution when receiving payment instructions via email. Always verify any changes to payment details directly with the involved parties using known, trusted contact information. Implement rigorous verification procedures to thwart fake transfer attempts.
Knowledge is Your Best Defense
In the complex landscape of scams, knowledge is your most potent defense. By staying informed about prevalent scams, conducting due diligence in various transactions, and seeking professional advice when needed, you can significantly reduce the risk of falling victim to fraudulent schemes. Be vigilant, question suspicious claims, and empower yourself with the awareness necessary to navigate the intricate world of scams in 2023. Remember, an informed individual or business is a resilient one.