Top 7 Ways To Prevent Online Fraud

Did you know the month of June is known as Internet Safety Month? This month gives us a great opportunity to learn how to use the internet safely and protect ourselves from the dangers of cybercrime. Online fraud or cybercrime includes identity theft, lottery or giveaways, and phishing. 

Despite a month dedicated to online security, people still fall victim to scams globally. However, law enforcement agencies like the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and third-party fund recovery companies like TheClaimers exist to help counteract the growing number of scams and financial losses. While FTC enforces laws to prevent fraud, companies like TheClaimers can help you recover your money if you’ve been scammed. In light of the growing concern for online scams, here is a list of six tips to help you protect yourself from scammers:

  1. Maintain your device’s security

In addition to the security of financial payments, we should also focus on the security of our devices used to carry out those transactions. Software updates on mobile phones and laptops/PCs are important to fix any security issues with the device. However, we might have the automatic update option turned off, possibly exposing our devices to attacks from hackers and scammers. Hence, you should regularly check if your device requires an update. Installing anti-virus software on your devices would also be beneficial to scan all the files thoroughly. You should also create strong and complex passwords that combine upper and lower-case letters, numbers, and special characters. But you should change your passwords often and not use the same password for every account.

  1. Use secure connections

Home or office network connections can be trusted because they are password-protected, private networks. However, public networks that do not require passwords, such as those in cafes, airports, or hotels, are not secure. Anyone can connect to them and hack into them and the devices connected to them. Thus, you should avoid making monetary transactions while using public networks as there is a chance of data theft.

  1. Download verified apps 

Mobile apps have made your bank, its services, and even entire stores available on your phone. However, some apps might be fraudulent and pose as authentic apps created by companies. This could lead to your personal information being stolen, such as your name, birthday, address, or money could be stolen if it’s a money transfer app. Thus, you should ensure you have installed a verified app from official stores on your devices, such as Google Play Store, Apple App Store, and Windows App Store. The consultancy company, TheClaimers, suggested you could also contact companies regarding the details of their apps. For example, you could ask your bank about the name of their e-banking app.

  1. Access secure websites

Scammers can create fraudulent websites which look authentic to people; however, any information entered on the website is stolen. The fake website might have the same domain name or layout as the original website it is posing as, making it difficult to differentiate it from the authorized websites. You should look for a padlock sign and “https://” before the “www” in the URL of the website. If either is missing, you can easily tell the website is fake. You should also look for the website’s privacy policy and look out for any pop-ups that ask you about your ‘cookie’ preferences that store your preferences. Privacy policies are usually thorough and complex, and almost all websites ask for your ‘cookie’ preferences. If you find the policies or you are asked whether the website cna use your data or not, it could be a fraudulent website.

  1. Don’t open hyperlinks in emails or text messages.

Phishing emails and text messages containing links often direct you to a fake website and steal your data. The emails or messages claim you won a large cash prize or brand new devices to lure in people. Once you click the link, you are directed to a webpage asking for details like name, address, bank account details, or credit/debit card number. However, this information gets stolen by the scammer. In case you made a payment in return for receiving the lottery prize, that money also gets stolen. You should avoid opening such emails and texts, but if you do, you should not click on any links or attachments.

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  1. Don’t share your personal information.

You should never share your personal information with anyone, especially with someone on the internet who you have never met. Scammers might pose as employees of a renowned company and make requests for your data. However, you should call verified helpline numbers of the organization like banks to verify the issue before transferring any money.