Fraud Prevention

How to Protect Yourself Against Fraud

Becoming a victim of fraud or identity theft is more likely than you might expect. Fraudsters work overtime to trick you out of your hard-earned money. 

If you unfortunately are the victim of fraud or identity theft, there are important steps you should take to repair your credit and financial identity. The resources below are tips from CPAs that can help consumers prevent, report, and recover from fraud.

Ways to Avoid & Detect Fraud

J Educate yourself on common scams so you can protect yourself and loved ones.

J Pay close attention to your financial statements and credit score. 

Verifying Licensed Professionals

Check if the person you’re working with is officially licensed.


Protecting Yourself Against Tax Fraud

Make Tax Time Your Identity Security Time Too
If you are like the majority of taxpayers, during the process of preparing and gathering the documents you needed for filing this year’s return, you more than likely needed to log into a website to access important financial information. These documents contain sensitive information, a partial picture of your financial life. What would you do if someone else was able to access it, change it, move it, or delete it? 

Battling Tax Identity Theft
Many people are aware of the dangers of identity theft, but they may not realize how quickly it is growing or the numerous areas in which it can occur. 

  • Paul Pocalyko photo

    Identity Theft Prevention: Use a Checklist

    Do you know someone who has been a victim of identity theft or a loss related to the improper use of their personally identifiable information? Most people understand they must protect their Social Security and bank account numbers. What is becoming problematic is that personal information which may not be protected, and is publicly available, is now being targeted.
    Full story
  • Alyzabeth Smith, CPA

    Scams Evolve, But the Best Method to Fight Them Remains the Same*

    Scammers continue to craft new and sinister ways to steal your money. An alert from the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue warns taxpayers to be aware of fraudulent phone calls to seniors and those with disabilities receiving rebates through the Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program.
    Full story

Protecting Your Loved Ones

Elder FraudElder Abuse and Money Mistakes - What to Do and Where to Go for Help
Here are a couple of examples of what can happen to our elderly friends and family if nobody is paying attention.

How to Protect Your Children Against Identity Theft
You are probably aware of your own risk of identity theft, and maybe even have taken some precautions to guard your personal and financial data. But what about your children?

Help Our Seniors Watch Out for Elder Fraud
Senior citizens, many of whom were raised to be polite and trusting, own their homes, have a nice nest egg of assets, and possess excellent credit ratings, are far too often victims of fraud.

Financial Fraud & Seniors: What You Need to Know
For seniors living on a fixed income, stretching their money is critical. This makes seniors particularly vulnerable to people who are intent on separating them from their hard-earned dollars.

Watch for These Four Types of Elderly Fraud
Four types of fraud senior citizens should look out for, as well as tips for avoiding them.

How to Protect Yourself and Loved Ones from Senior Fraud



Protecting Your Business

Don't Let Friendly Feelings Set Your Business Up for Fraud
The phrase “segregation of duties” is used by CPAs every day, but what does that mean to the small-business owner? And why is it so important anyway?

Means, Motive, Opportunity: It's Always the Ones You Trust
Any closely held business that operates without adequate segregation of duties is exposed to the risk of embezzlement. This vulnerability is exploited to devastating effect.

Are You Doing Enough to Protect Your Data?
As technology has grown at an exponential rate, businesses have employed many new products over the past 15 years that have contributed to financial success. However, with every advancement in technology comes potential risks of uncertainty and data loss.

When Nonprofits Confront Old-Fashioned Stealing
Nonprofits can be particularly vulnerable when it comes to fraud and theft. In smaller not-for-profits, there just may not be enough hands to manage day-to-day functions. With volunteers, they may not have the time necessary to devote to running an organization.


Ask a CPA -Fraud and ID Theft Q&As

Fraud Tips

  • Be a Smart and Safe Shopper

    The Pennsylvania Institute of CPAs offers the following tips on being smart, safe shoppers.
  • Fraud Prevention for Seniors

    While seniors make up 11 percent of the population, they represent 30 percent of consumer fraud cases and 50 percent of telephone fraud. The reason for their susceptibility to fraud is due to several factors.
  • Guard Against Tax Return ID Theft

    Identity theft is one of the fastest growing crimes nationwide, and tax refund fraud caused by identity theft is a major challenge facing taxpayers. According to a Government Accountability Office report, fraudulent tax refunds were estimated at $5.2 billion for the 2013 tax filing season.
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For more, visit the AICPA's 360 Degrees of Financial Literacy.