In our role as an investigative agency, we diligently track the ever-evolving landscape of frauds reported by our clients. Over the past few years, we’ve witnessed a shift in the types of scams that are prevalent, marking 2023 with a distinctive set of fraudulent activities. Here’s an in-depth look at the top scams we are currently encountering:
Family Law Case Frauds: A Disturbing Trend
A notable trend that has emerged in the last three to four years is the rise of family law case frauds. This category encompasses various deceitful practices surrounding divorce and probate proceedings. Opportunistic family members seize moments of family events, such as deaths, divorces, or instances of child support, to manipulate and take an unfair share of assets.
Those involved in such scams often exploit their inside access to write unauthorized checks, transfer real estate without detection, or claim ownership of hidden assets like vehicles and jewelry. This form of family law fraud is alarmingly common, and in almost every case where we investigate hidden assets, we uncover fraudulent activities.
If you suspect fraudulent conveyances or transfers in your family affairs, chances are you’re right. Clients seldom raise concerns without cause in such matters.
The AI Scam: Unmasking Artificial Deception
In the tech-driven landscape, the rise of the AI scam is particularly concerning. Companies seeking investments or customers claim to leverage artificial intelligence, including advanced models like ChatGPT, in their operations. However, many of these businesses fall short of their assertions, resorting to human labor for tasks they claim AI accomplishes.
It’s crucial for potential investors and customers to demand proof of the claimed AI functionality. If a company hesitates to demonstrate how their AI works or provides vague explanations, it’s wise to consider more transparent alternatives.
Business Sale Fraud: Numbers That Mislead
The realm of business sales is not immune to deception. We’ve observed a surge in business sale frauds where companies misrepresent their revenue to inflate the value of their business. By creating deceptive bank accounts and manipulating financial activities, these companies mislead potential buyers about their actual sales and revenue.
When considering a business purchase, thorough verification is essential. Don’t rely solely on presented profit and loss statements; scrutinize actual bank accounts to ensure the declared revenue aligns with the company’s operational activities.
Fake Transfer Fraud: The Danger in Payment Diversions
A persistent threat in 2023 is fake transfer fraud. Companies and individuals conducting wire transfers, ACH payments, or check payments face the risk of falling victim to fraudulent requests. Scammers use various tactics, such as posing as legitimate vendors or manipulating payment details, to divert funds to unauthorized accounts.
To mitigate this risk, always verify payment details directly with the intended party, especially when dealing with accounts payable invoices or purchase orders. Be cautious of unexpected changes in payment instructions to avoid financial losses.
Staying informed about the prevalent scams of 2023 is crucial for personal and business security. By being vigilant and adopting thorough verification practices, you can safeguard yourself from falling prey to fraud, ensuring your ongoing success in personal and professional endeavors.