The most common types of offline fraud include credit card fraud, phone solicitations, print fraud, check scams and mail fraud.
There's no doubt that credit cards and debit cards have changed the way we do business, both as individuals and as businesses. Instead of carrying cash, these cards provide convenience and safety, as well as tracking of transactions on monthly statements.
You don't have to lose your credit or debit card to become a victim of credit card fraud. Thieves can obtain your credit card account numbers from old receipts or by scanning your card in illegal machines.
Many thieves use the telephone to commit fraud. These criminals are looking for unsuspecting individuals who will give them important information, like Social Security Numbers, dates of birth, credit card numbers or bank account numbers. Once they have your information, they use it to make fraudulent purchases, obtain credit or to access bank accounts.
Newspapers and magazines are often used to commit print fraud. Thieves will place fraudulent ads - some using logos of companies you know and trust - and encourage individuals to call to get more information. Many of these ads offer deals on debt consolidations and mortgage refinancing, or encourage you to use the services provided by small businesses.
If you call the number in the ad, thieves may ask you for credit card numbers, bank or mortgage account numbers, your Social Security Number or your date of birth.
Remember, PNC Bank representatives will NEVER ask you for any credit card or account information, other than information to identify you, such as the date of your last deposit or your Mother's maiden name, over the phone.
For years, thieves have used check scams to steal both money and identities. Check scams can be difficult to detect, as they can take many forms. While some check scam cases involve simply grabbing checks from mailboxes and cashing them, other fraudulent activities involving checks can include:
Mail fraud involves use of the postal system to steal money and valuables from victims. It is most often committed through solicitation letters, phony sweepstakes, bogus catalogs, or work-at-home offers. Thieves can commit mail fraud by simply stealing mail - such as bank statements, credit card offers or checks - out of your mailbox.