Today, there is a lot to celebrate about the impact of technology on various aspects of our daily lives. Unfortunately, there is also the looming danger of becoming a victim of fraud and security scams as a result of embracing technology. Con artists use specific tactics to steal your data, money, and identity. The problem, in this case, is that you may not be aware of the tactics that scammers use.
Fraudsters can now gather details about vulnerable persons and, in turn, use such information to hit such individuals with targeted attacks. You also need to note that online scams take various forms, and the sophistication of these attacks is increasing by the day. For instance, COVID-19 is currently leaving most individuals prone to scams as they seek ways to survive through this crisis.
Fraudsters, on the other hand, are finding it easier to con vulnerable individuals amidst the present pandemic because most people will vouch for anything that gives them some hope of better days. The fact that most people are not taking time to consider various opportunities and offers at such a time as this is the reason behind sharing the tips herein.
Gaining insight into potential fraud and security scams as well as remaining vigilant can protect you from becoming a victim of con artists. Below are some tips for protecting yourself from scammers both now and in the future.
Use A PIN Code
Your mobile phone is most probably part of your precious possessions and losing it or leaving it in the open is quite risky. The reason is that if your mobile phone finds its way in the hands of unknown individuals, you may become a victim of SIM swapping. Once scammers lay their hands on your SIM card, they can use it to steal from you or your contacts.
Protecting your mobile phone account against SIM swapping is possible through the use of a PIN code. A PIN code or password becomes a requirement when issuing a new SIM card is necessary.
Exercise Caution When Sharing Your Personal Information
Such processes as bank transactions, credit card payments, online shopping, and SIM card registration will require you to share your details. However, when someone calls you regarding a utility reconnection, and they ask for personal information, which may be unnecessary, you should be curious.
So, whenever someone asks for your details either online or offline, you should always take time to consider whether such information is necessary or not. Your details may be the only thing that a fraudster needs to drain your bank account or destroy your reputation in one way or another.
Consider Frequent Scrutiny of Your Bank and Financial Statements
Do you ever take time to scrutinize your bank and financial statements? Probably not. Most individuals rarely go through statements of their accounts either because it is boring, or they do not understand specific details. Sometimes, it may not be possible to track questionable transactions without analyzing your bank and financial statements.
For that reason, you should always set some time aside to study your financial statements. If you come across any questionable transaction on your financial statements, you should approach the relevant institution or individuals to seek clarification on the same. Otherwise, leaving your bank and financial statements unchecked will build up the amount of money you may be losing to scammers over time.
Lock Or Freeze Your Credit File
The information in your credit file can become a goldmine for fraudsters who access it. Additionally, you cannot trust third parties with your credit file because you do not know which one among them may be a scammer. In that case, you should consider locking or freezing your credit file to ensure that third parties have no access to the information therein.
Securing your credit file by locking or freezing it is simple, and you can always unlock it when you need to do so.
Use Strong Passwords Or Passphrases
Online scammers can crack simple passwords and passphrases without difficulties. Also, if you use the same password on multiple online accounts, you can become a victim of fraudulent activities repeatedly. The emphasis on the need to use strong passwords and passphrases for your online accounts may seem overrated, but it is critical.
Strong passwords and passphrases secure your online accounts. You should also ensure the password or passphrase you choose for each of your online accounts is unique.
Beware of Suspicious Emails and Links
It is not unusual for scammers to attach malware on online links when sending out emails to unsuspecting individuals. The implication, in this case, is that if you are always in a hurry to open emails or links from unknown sources, you will hardly evade the trap that scammers lay on your way using this strategy.
It is needless to say that you should only trust email communications from the sources you know. But that does not imply exercising due diligence to guard against fraudsters is not necessary in this case. Avoiding the temptation to open emails or download suspicious links is advisable if you want to protect yourself from fraud and security scams.
Avoid Links Which Direct You to Login Pages
Accessing your online accounts through links appears to be the easier option every other time. But do you consider the risk exposure of such actions on your part? For instance, if you use the links that direct you to the login page whenever your bank or insurance company sends you emails, you may fall for a scam. Instead of using such links to access your online account, consider typing the address manually on the browser because it acts as a safety precaution.
Fraudsters continue to seek new ways of targeting vulnerable individuals, and they fine-tune the approaches they use every other day. Ignoring the fact that you can be the target of fraudsters or undermining the importance of protecting yourself from scams will only escalate your vulnerability.
It is quite unfortunate to note that many will become victims of scamming at the face of COVID-19 and even after this pandemic. Adopting the tips above can protect you from becoming a victim of fraud and security scams both now and in the future.