Utah Fraud On The Rise

Utah Fraud Is On The Rise (By Mitch Mortensen Investment Advisor)

I recently attended a luncheon where a local FBI agent Steve Kleinlein discussed local financial criminal schemes.  The FBI reports that financial fraud accounts for approximately 2 billion dollars in loss each year, just in the state of Utah.  

Some of the most common crimes include Ponzi schemes, identity theft, blackmail, phishing, and cashier’s check fraud. These criminals prey upon anyone regardless of their age or financial situation. Below is a list of tips to protect yourself and your loved ones.

Check Bank Accounts Regularly: Theft often occurs without victims knowing about it or after it’s too late. Make sure to check financial accounts daily if possible and watch for suspicious purchases and activity.

Social Media: Social media can be a great tool, but keep in mind it is for the world to see. Be careful what information you post and be especially careful not to post when you are out of town.

Don’t Give Out Personal Information: Especially electronically using text and email. And never give out information to someone you haven’t completely verified, even if they claim they are from the IRS.

Watch Out for Cashier’s Checks: Most of us consider cashier’s checks as cash in the bank. Criminals have found ways to pay with counterfeit cashier’s checks and the banks don’t discover it for over a week. By that time, the criminal has already drove away with the item you sold them.

If It Sounds Too Good To be True It Probably Is:  Most fraudsters will promise low risk and high rates of return. If you are interested in any investment, run it by a registered investment advisor first and they can help you determine the possible risks.

Don’t Invest With Just Anyone: Keep your investments with an individual or company that is registered and reputable that you can trust.  That allows you to contact state or federal agencies to verify that they are licensed and legal.

Mitch is an investment advisor for Heaton Financial, PC. Contact Mitch to schedule a FREE financial risk analysis 435-272-4362.

This article was published in the Senior Sampler of Saint George on November 18, 2016. Click Here for a link to the actual article.