According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, 3 million or 1.25% of people aged 18 or over were victims of financial fraud in 2017. Since then, What Kind of Cases is a Financial Fraud Attorney Used For fraud rates have continued to grow exponentially, with news reports and court cases at a record high. Estimates show that millions of Americans fall victim to financial fraud every year.
By definition, financial fraud is when money or other assets are taken from someone through deception or other types of criminal activity. What Kind of Cases is a Financial Fraud Attorney Used For
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That said, being a victim of financial fraud often happens unexpectedly, What Kind of Cases is a Financial Fraud Attorney Used For and you do not know what hit you until it has happened. Unfortunately, financial fraud can have a big impact on your savings, investments, business, and general well-being.
If you have suffered financial fraud, you always have the option to fight it off through legal channels. But with the law being relatively complex to a layman, you need a good financial fraud attorney.
That said, how do you know your case qualifies as financial fraud? Here are the most types of cases that fraud attorneys handle:
1. Tax Fraud
One of the most common types of financial fraud that lawyers provide representation for is tax fraud. It happens when a person or business knowingly and intentionally falsifies tax return information to reduce tax liability.
So, you are cheating or giving false information about how much tax you owe the government so that you do not have to pay all of it. Examples of tax fraud include:
- Reporting personal expenses as business expenses
- Excluding some income from your tax report
- Claiming deductions falsely
- Using a social security number that does not belong to you
- Failing to file payroll taxes
Tax fraud breaks the federal law and is considered a crime. To prevent it, ensure you are filing your complete tax returns accurately and submitting them by the given deadline. Remember, criminals are prone to stealing identities through tax return documents when tax season is rife. As such, it is important to file your taxes early and through a secure platform or reputed accountancy.
So, if you ever find yourself accused of tax fraud, ensure you talk to a fraud attorney immediately to know your options.
2. Credit Card Fraud
With people becoming more reliant on credit cards to make all kinds of payments, fraud is increasingly rampant. This kind of fraud occurs where a person uses a credit card or debit card without authorization.
In most cases, the perpetrators obtain credit or debit card numbers by stealing the cards or phishing them on unsecured websites. That is why you are always advised to cancel your card as soon as you notice you have lost it so that no one else can use it.
Another precaution against credit card fraud is to use strong passwords and secure connections when making online payments to avoid cybercriminals accessing your sensitive financial data.
Ensure you are also careful with who or where you leave your card. Still, your credit card information may be stolen in other ways, like if a retailer’s data network is breached. If you have been a victim of credit card fraud, you may seek the help of an attorney.
3. Financial Identity Theft
Identity theft is one of the most prevalent financial fraud cases that lawyers encounter. With identity theft, a third party takes your identifying information without your permission and uses it as their own.
In most cases, criminals will steal your name, social security number, and credit/ debit card number to make unauthorized payments or transactions. For example, they can use it to register for credit, get medical insurance, buy things, file taxes, and so on.
As a victim of financial identity, you are typically left with damage to your finances, credit, and even relations with people. Apart from financial identity theft, there is also social security identity theft, tax identity theft, criminal identity theft, and child identity theft.
The one upside is that you can more or less avoid identity theft, and if you are a victim, you can seek the services of a lawyer.
Simply ensure that you keep sensitive personal data like your social security number, bank info, and birthdate private. Like with credit card fraud, you should also avoid shopping on shoddy websites or through unsecured public connections.
4. Insurance Fraud
In the simplest terms, insurance fraud is an act meant to defraud the insurance procedure. It happens when a claimant tries to get some benefit they are not entitled to or eligible for or, in the case of the insurer, when they deliberately deny the claimant a benefit due to them.
According to the FBI, the most common insurance fraud schemes include premium diversion/ embezzlement, asset diversion, workers compensation fraud, and fee churning. Perpetrators, who can be the insurance company’s employees or the claimant, will usually file false insurance claims to defraud the insurance provider.
In some cases, this type of fraud may occur when a seller tries to sell a fake policy or fails to submit client premiums to the insurer. On the other hand, the insurance buyer may lie about their medical history, fake kidnapping, or death.
You can avoid falling prey to insurance fraud by being honest and assessing insurance agents thoroughly before you commit yourself. But if you are a victim, you can get a lawyer to gather evidence and file a suit for you.
5. Embezzlement of Funds
With embezzlement, a person entrusted with the management of finances, property, or other valuables misuses or steals them for their personal gain. Embezzlement often occurs in the workplace, where a person has legal authority over resources or property.
To protect yourself from this embezzlement, ensure you thoroughly assess all your new hires and never skip background checks. You should also limit who can access and control your business’s financial information and resources.
A Financial Fraud Attorney Can Help You with All of These Financial Crimes
As you can see, financial fraud is quite common. That said, you may find yourself on either end of the stick- as the victim or the accused.
Either way, there are several options you can explore legally to protect/ recover your finances and salvage your name. However, be sure to talk to a lawyer as soon as possible as they usually have the necessary experience to give you practical guidance.
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