TDCI Warns Tennesseans of Rising Financial Scams and Identity Theft

TDCI emphasizes vigilance against increasing fraud and identity theft incidents in Tennessee.

The Tennessee Department of Commerce & Insurance (TDCI) is raising alarms over the significant financial toll that scams, identity theft, and fraud incidents have exacted on Tennesseans. According to the Federal Trade Commission’s Consumer Sentinel Network 2023 report, residents of Tennessee were defrauded of approximately $133.6 million, ranking the state 16th in the U.S. for fraud rates. With over 73,000 reported fraud instances and an additional 12,700 identity theft cases in 2023 alone, the TDCI’s Securities Division is urging the public to adopt proactive measures to safeguard their financial health.

TDCI Commissioner Carter Lawrence highlighted the unfortunate exploitation of Tennessee’s culture of neighborliness by criminals to perpetrate fraud and steal personal information. He encouraged anyone approached with suspicious investment opportunities to reach out to the Securities team for advice. Echoing this sentiment, TDCI Assistant Commissioner Elizabeth Bowling emphasized the importance of protective steps against investment fraud and the availability of resources for those suspecting they’ve fallen prey to such schemes.

The TDCI has outlined several consumer tips aimed at preventing financial fraud and identity theft. These include establishing a trusted contact with financial advisors, responsibly disposing of sensitive documents, regularly monitoring financial statements and credit reports, opting for direct deposit for benefit checks, and practicing caution with personal information over the phone. The department also warned against responding to threatening calls demanding payment via wire transfer or gift cards, advising immediate disconnection and reporting to local law enforcement.

In a concerted effort to combat the growing issue of financial scams, TDCI is providing educational resources and direct support through its website and contact lines. Tennesseans are encouraged to stay informed and vigilant to protect themselves and their loved ones from the adverse impacts of financial fraud and identity theft.

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