Most people would never consider that they might be a candidate, and no I am not talking about a candidate for the president of the United States, but rather a candidate for arrest due to committing a financial crime. Now when most of you think about financial crimes, you think about the big and well known ones such as loan fraud, check forging, ponzi schemes and counterfeiting to name a few. Yet you would be surprised at just how easy it is to fall into the felony category of financial crimes! There are 6 financial crimes that people do, every single day in fact. You might comfort yourself with saying things like “it’s no big deal” or “everyone’s doing it”, but it does not change the fact that the 6 financial habits below are highly illegal, and one day you may end up paying a hefty price for committing them.
Signing someone else’s name on a check
Signing anyone’s name on a check, other than your own is considered in most states to be forgery, and a felony at that. The only time you can sign another persons name on a check is when you have a power of attorney in effect. While most times this is done on behalf of a loved one for benign purposes, it is still illegal.
Using someone else’s social security number to get credit
This one would seem a rather obvious one. Yet there are many parents out there whose own credit is ruined who do just that, using their children’s social security numbers to game the system and obtain credit. This is identity theft and it is highly illegal.
Lying on a loan application
Anyone who is applying for a loan would be better off keeping it honest when it comes to their loan applications. Lying to inflate your income, debts or other factors in an attempt to get their loan approved are committing a crime, fraud. Lenders have ways and means to check your information, so you should be honest. If you do get approved after lying on a loan application, but then default, you can be charged with felony fraud after the fact.
Writing bad checks
Knowingly writing a check that you know will bounce is very much a crime. This can happen on accident, but that is why there is overdraft protection available. If you knowingly write bad checks, not only could you face criminal charges, you may also be banned from ever opening up a checking account again, or face extreme difficulty doing so.
Defacing U.S. currency
Many people are guilty of this crime. it is illegal to write on currency, deface it in any way, cut it, glue it, perforate it, or otherwise render U.S currency unusable. Accidental defacement does not count as being illegal, but rather deliberate defacement does. If your paper bills are torn, rather than glue them or tape them together, the law requires you submit them to the U.S treasury and they will mail you a new bill.