Scams and Fraud

We constantly hear stories of financial fraud that plague the public at large, don’t we?

From identity theft to stolen passwords and Social Security numbers, there’s plenty to worry about when it comes to scams in the United States.

And ironically enough, those who come to live and work in the country from abroad are arguably some of the most susceptible to such scams.

Think about it. Chances are you’re not totally familiar with the language or customs of the country, let alone where to turn for help if you think you’ve been struck by a scam. Meanwhile, you may very well be so overwhelmed with finding your footing that you don’t even realize you’ve been defrauded.

Rather than also yourself to be a potential target, keep the following four tips in your back pocket to guarantee your financial security.

Know Where Your Money Goes

Avoiding bank fraud should be a top priority, meaning that you should open an account with a secure, trusted name first and foremost. Capital One and Charles Schwab are noted for being industry names who are friendly to expats. At the same time, it’s crucial to be mindful of where you input your bank information and only to hand it over in person if possible.

Additionally, those sending payments back home likewise shouldn’t have to second-guess what’s happening with their remittance.

Much like you choose a trusted bank, choose a trusted provider to provide the same sort of protection. To quote remittance payment service Remitly: “We always track your money transfer wherever you are,” allow you to send payments nationwide, regardless of your location. This sort of security and flexibility is a must-have for expats.

Be Wary of Job “Offers”

In an ideal situation, you can secure your employment long before you decide to move abroad.

Doing so ultimately leaves you out of a “what-if” situation where you’re stuck in a new country with no means to provide for yourself. Meanwhile, locking down employment in advance also provides you expectations and opportunities in terms of housing and how much money you can send home.

As such, be wary of predatory job “offers” from strangers online or otherwise. If something seems too good to be true it probably is. Meanwhile, consider any potential opportunity that requires a significant investment of your time or money as a huge red flag.

Be Selective with Your Address

Many scammers are incredibly tricky when it comes to crafting letters that look legitimate, requesting personal or financial information that could land you in hot water if in the wrong hands.

Perhaps the best way to avoid the epidemic of mail fraud is to be incredibly careful when it comes to giving out your address. This rings true both in-person and online, especially if you’re living alone and don’t have too much reason to be receiving mail in the first place.

Stick to Secure Internet Connections

This might seem like an obvious tip, but more and more people are falling prey to cybersecurity issues simply because they’re careless with their connections. When in public or at home, only rely on trusted, password-protected networks for your devices to avoid phishing or open networks where your information is vulnerable.

In short, understanding what a secure connection is will ultimately keep you out of trouble.

There’s no denying that expats have a ton on their plates already without having to worry about potential scams while in a new and unfamiliar land. Even so, taking these steps will ultimately provide you with peace of mind and likewise help you avoid major personal and financial headaches.