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Beware of scams and fraud

How to avoid the most common financial threats

Financial fraud is on the rise throughout the world. According to International Investment Magazine, financial crime costs the global economy USD2.4 trillion each year. Explore each topic to learn more about fraud.

Of the more than 3.2-million fraud cases reported to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in 2019, identity theft accounted for 20.33% of cases and was the most common type of fraud.

How it happens

There are many forms of fraud, scams and financial theft. Three of the most common forms include:

  • Online and mobile banking, where criminals access someone’s bank account via the internet or mobile banking.
  • Common online threats, such as computer viruses, malware, or phishing, where a hacker attempts to take control of a computer or mobile in order to access login details, passwords and other personal data.
  • Banking security, including telephone fraud,  thefts from ATMs and other scams.

According to KPMG's Global Banking Fraud Survey in 2019, 61% of banks surveyed reported an increase in financial fraud – in value and volume – over the past three years.

How to avoid it

There is plenty of advice online about how to spot a scam or fraud, and what action you should take if you are a victim of fraud.

There are several simple precautions you can take to avoid becoming a victim of a scam or fraud:

  1. Never give your password, PIN number or memorable information to anyone else.
  2. Change your passwords every few months. A strong password needn’t be difficult to remember.
  3. If you receive an email that claims to be from your bank, check it carefully. Unless you are absolutely certain it is genuine, don’t click on any link it contains.
  4. You will be better protected online if you keep your computer updated and install a firewall, anti-virus and anti-spyware software.
HSBC has created the YourMoneyCounts financial wellness program which is presented by HSBC staff to the community in a classroom setting. Participant workbooks covering Budgeting, Credit, and Identity Theft and a budgeting worksheet are found through the YourMoneyCount link above. This program was created in partnership with the national nonprofit Greenpath Financial Wellness,  and they provide free individualized support focused on your personal situation and financial wellness.