Many people think that it won’t happen to them, but various types of scams take billions of dollars every year, and a clever enough scammer can take just about anybody. A recent report from the consumer protection website consumerprotect.com helped to illustrate where fraud is most common and the types of scams that are the most prevalent. Using data from the Better Business Bureau, the report tracks incidents of fraud and the states where the fraud was reported.
Unfortunately for the residents of Hawaii, this report showed some troubling trends in our state. Hawaii ranked second overall in the states that have the most reported incidents of fraud, with only Idaho showing higher numbers for the year 2015. Both Hawaii and Idaho had numbers that are alarmingly high in comparison with the rest of the nation. According to the numbers, our state has a fraud rate that is five times higher than the national average.
In addition to being second in the nation for the overall frequency of scams in general, Hawaii also leads the nation with regard to credit card and debt scams. These types of fraud can come in various forms, and they are often very destructive to the financial stability of the individual. This category includes general credit card fraud, phony debt collectors, credit repair scams and fake debt relief programs.
According to the report, credit card and debt related scams are hardly the only types of fraud that commonly target the residents of Hawaii. The state also leads the nation in lottery, sweepstakes and auction related swindles and it is second in IRS impersonator scams, which is ranked as the most common form of fraud in the United States for the past year.
While banks and other financial institutions have gotten better at indentifying and preventing fraud, they can’t stop everything. The best way to guard against fraud is for the individual to learn more about the different types of scams that are out there and take steps to avoid falling victim them.