Fraudsters are everywhere. And they go to some amazing lengths to get your money. My clients hire me so they can prevent loss. Sometimes they’ve already had millions slip through their fingers. But you don’t have to risk fraud loss! Nope. You can use the same tools as the FBI to spot fraud hidden in plain sight.
When you hear the word fraud you probably think of people taking advantage of a faceless corporation but it happens at home, too. It’s called friendly fraud. So Here’s another true story from my you can’t make this stuff up file.
I knew a good friend of mine was headed for divorce. They’d been doing to counseling and were going to give it 6 more months. Imagine my surprise when she called me a week later and said I’m done.
I said Why? I thought you were going to give it some time? She said I’m done because I found out he maxed out our joint credit card to $20k and didn’t tell me anything about it. I’m just gonna pay it off and be done with him.
She has her own business, is really smart and super successful. So I said Ok that’s good. If you can get out of this thing for $20k that’s pretty good.
She then calls me a week later. She said ‘Traci it is so much worse. I was working to split up our assets and found out that he maxed out our home equity line of credit to $100k. He emptied out our retirement and also emptied out the kids college fund. I’m $300k under water and didn’t even know it.
And then she said. And you know what’s worse? I let this happen. I wasn’t checking our joint accounts. I didn’t even have the passwords.
And looking back the signs were all there. I just didn’t want to see them. Every time I’d ask if he paid the mortgage or credit card bill he’d look away or drop something and be picking it up off the floor as he said ‘yes’. He was robbing peter to pay Paul with our HELOC! I just took his word and rationalized away his behavior even though I know what to look for…because you’ve taught me!
There’s a couple of lessons here. First. Check your joint accounts at least once a month! That’s FREE fraud protection. And 2nd. Don’t rationalize away someone’s behavior. The body can’t lie. Believe the body first and take the words with a grain of salt. In this case he couldn’t face her or the problem when he talked about it.
This sounds like an unbelievable story. So I started telling it in my keynotes and several people have come up to me to tell me it happened to them, too. This happens all the time.
But what about my friend? She got rid of that loser! They sold the house to get out of the debt. And now he’s living in a tiny apartment…and running his credit cards up again. And she’s getting back on her feet building up savings from square 1 again…but now she’s checking her accounts daily. So check yours, too.
Help me out. If you liked this share it! And if you’ve got a fraud story you’d like me to feature, get in touch. See you next time!