Fraudsters have been stealing money since the beginning of time, but their methods are only becoming more sophisticated as technology advances.

Today, thousands of US citizens fall prey to financial crimes on a daily basis, and it’s only getting worse. 

While the best first line of defense against falling victim to financial fraud is awareness, even that isn’t always sufficient. Additionally, a lot of smaller companies simply don’t have the resources to protect their data and customer information from the more advanced criminal attacks. 

Below, we’ll talk about the 5 most common financial crimes and their associated warning signs for individuals and businesses. 

Identity Theft

Identity theft is one of the most rampant frauds affecting Americans today. Essentially, it consists of stealing a person’s personal information and using it for personal gain. 

There are several forms of identity theft, including credit card fraud or stealing an individual’s SSN (Social Security Number). Fraudsters even steal banking information to make unauthorized purchases. 

Identity theft can be used for loan applications or credit card applications in the victim’s name. This can result in the victim’s credit score being tanked or having a large amount of debt tied to their name. 

The best defense against identity theft is being vigilant. Be very careful and do research before giving out personal information to any organization, especially over the internet. 

Insurance Fraud

Another common form of fraud is insurance fraud, and it can cost insurance companies huge amounts of money. 

Basically, insurance fraud is when an individual makes a fraudulent claim for an incident that never occurred. Likewise, it can occur when the incident is real, but the claimant vastly overstates the value of damages. 

Essentially every type of insurance company is at risk of falling victim to insurance fraud, whether it’s for automobile insurance, home insurance, or even worker’s compensation. It’s common for these companies to invest a lot of money into the investigation aspect of their claims resolution departments, as even a single successful fraud can cost immensely. 

Insurance fraud is considered a felony under US law, and any apprehended perpetrators can face up to ten years in prison for a single offense. 

Credit Card Fraud

Credit Card Fraud, a very popular subset of identity theft, involves stealing an individual’s credit card or payment information and then using that information to make purchases in most online retail spaces. Fortunately, there are laws in place to protect the victim and dictate a return of the money either through a financial institution or through chargebacks placed on the retailer. However, somebody is always paying that money back and taking a loss. On top of that, credit card thieves are rarely caught. 

To combat this on the merchant’s end, multi-factor authentication is a useful tool that can be utilized to verify customer information before a transaction is completed. 

The theft of credit card information can occur on both ends of the transactional spectrum. Individuals may unwittingly give their information to fraudsters through phishing scams and fake portals that are designed to look like real merchant pages. 


Embezzlement is when people misuse or misappropriate money that’s been entrusted to them. 

Most often found in organizations like businesses, government agencies, and non-profits, embezzlement is a high-level fraud. It can often involve huge amounts of money being stolen or used illegally by one or several individuals. 

Embezzlement can also occur on a more personal level when somebody who is named the administrator of an estate misuses the assets for personal gain. 

Tax Fraud

Tax fraud is very common, though not often the result of malicious intent. Simply forgetting to file a tax return can be considered tax fraud by technical definition. 

Of course, it also occurs on much larger scales. High-income individuals and organizations not reporting income or assets, trying to hide assets from the IRS, and taking unauthorized deductions are all pretty common examples of major tax fraud. In any of these cases, tax fraud can carry a heavy penalty and should be avoided at all costs. 

Sophisticated Fraud Requires Sophisticated Defense

With all those kinds of fraud out there, there’s no such thing as being too careful when it comes to protecting your business and your customers. That means choosing a fraud protection platform that has the features and support to fully defend against any threats that test it. is a proven expert in the field of anti-fraud security. We can help protect your business from identity fraud, credit card fraud, chargeback fraud, and more. If you or your company are looking for the ultimate fraud defense platform, sign up for a free demo today.