Fraud may occur in almost any industry, and swift technological advancements over the past decade gave rise to wire fraud incidents. According to Nationwide, even intent to commit this crime carries a penalty and can result in serious fines and lengthy prison sentences.
Learning a few facts about wire fraud may help individuals understand what constitutes wire fraud and how to avoid accusations that could have a serious impact on their lives.
1. Wire fraud includes text messaging
Mail fraud, such as contest scams, are no longer as common in the electronic age, but such scams still spread via text messaging. This type of fraud may include announcing the recipient won a cash prize or that his or her bank flagged a business account and must text back their account number to verify funds. Reporting such texts to the financial institution in question may help prevent such incidents.
2. Wire fraud affects more than finances
Some types of wire fraud do not always involve cash transactions. Real estate wire fraud may result in a loss of commercial land or the sum of its value, especially during a transaction where the ownership of a property changes hands. A third party may claim involvement in such a transfer over email or text, which may alter the sale or transfer of the deed or funds to the wrong individual.
3. Wire fraud often targets small businesses
Small businesses sometimes fall prey to wire fraud because they do not have the funds to train their employees to recognize the possible signs. This makes agents and representatives vulnerable to scams.
Encrypted business emails and two-step verification processes for the safe transfer of funds may help prevent attempted wire fraud.