It’s unfortunate, but true: During this period of economic uncertainty, one of the busiest “industries” has been financial scamming. But it goes on even during normal times, too, so you’ll want to know what to look for, and how to defend yourself.

For starters, just how widespread is financial fraud? Consider this: In 2019, more than 3.2 million fraud cases were reported to the Federal Trade Commission, with identity theft being the most common type of fraud, accounting for about one-fifth of the overall cases. And fraudulent new accounts (mortgages, student loans, car loans and credit cards) amounted to about $3.4 billion in 2018, according to a study by Javelin Strategy & Research.

This article was written by Edward Jones for use by your local Edward Jones financial advisor. Edward Jones, Member SIPC Erik Hendricks, AAMS, 17 E. Middle St., Gettysburg; 717-338-9691; erik.hendricks@edwardjones.com.

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