Specific financial crimes increased in 2021 due to social and economic changes. From money laundering to identity theft, the number of scams and fraudulent transactions remained high. For Iowa consumers, at least five trends were prevalent in 2021.
Debit or credit card fraud
There are different types of fraud that involve debit or credit card use. Stealing another person’s card and using it without his or her authorization counts as fraud. Pretending to be the owner whose name is on the card is another example. In some cases, merchants charge the cards of their customers to cheat the banks.
The rates of identity theft are increasing by the tens of thousands since 2020, according to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Nearly 42 million Americans experienced identity theft in 2021 with acts varying from stolen identities to misused Social Security numbers.
As millions of people researched information on the Internet in 2021, they faced countless scams and unreliable websites online. The types of financial crimes that occurred online varied widely from spam emails to malware, identity theft and job scams. The methods used for protection include installing anti-spyware software, reporting fraudulent websites to the FTC and checking the company’s reputation.
Money laundering is the act of hiding the sources of illegally obtained money. This is often done to avoid paying taxes. The newest trend is for criminals to use cryptocurrency which is more loosely regulated.
In 2021, the rates of crimes involving money increased from 2009. In recent years, criminals have begun looking for new ways to avoid detection and steal more money. So, the data collected in 2021 is being used to predict trends in 2022 and beyond.