Tips To Protect Yourself From Financial Scams
Financial scams are one of the worse experiences one can go through. It is traumatic, demoralizing and causes a lot of headaches. Unfortunately, this is a problem that is becoming more severe day by day. New and advanced technology gives fraudsters an edge, making it easier for them than ever before for online scams, data breaches, identity theft and financial frauds.
Here Are Few Quick And Simple Tips To Protect Yourself From Financial Scams:
1. Never Ever Transfer Money To A Stranger
At some point or another, you have probably received odd emails from a needy person that someone has died and left him a huge debt or some child is going through form major illness and need money for the surgery etc. These emails have one purpose to convince you to transfer money from to any of their US account. Once you wire cash especially overseas, it’s virtually impossible to reverse the transaction or trace the money. It is important to not fall for such odd emails and never transfer the money to a stranger. Also, there are times when someone has hacked email ID of your known person and must be sending you messages to help them financially. Before sending the money in concern, you must cross check if it is true or not.
2. Never Give Out Your Financial Information
It is important to realize the importance of your financial information and never share it with a person or business you don’t know. All financial information is quite sensitive and you must keep it private. Whether someone reach out to you via phone, email or text, do not revert. You will never get calls from banks or credit card companies to share your account details and any other financial details to update your account information or schemes. This common scam is known as phishing. If you receive a suspicious call or email and are concerned about your account, call the credit card company or bank directly to check on your account status.
3. Don’t Click On Hyperlinks In Emails
If you ever see an email from a stranger or company asking you to click on a hyperlink or open an attachment and then enter your financial information, delete that email immediately. Even if the email seems to be sent from your bank or Credit Card Company, it is more likely a scam known as pharming.
4. Avoid Putting Simple Passwords
Passwords like ‘12345’ are not going to protect you from financial scams as they are easy to crack. Hackers can easily crack those passwords that are simple number combinations or a common pet name. Therefore, it is important for you to create password that are tough to crack like you must put at least eight characters long that include some lower, some upper case letters, numbers and special characters. You should also use a different password for every website you visit must keep updating them from time to time to stay protected.
5. Protect Your Social Security Number
If you receive email or visit a website that asks for your social security number, don’t share it as it is more likely to be a scam. Legitimate businesses rarely ask for this information.
6. Always Protect Your Sensitive Information With Antivirus
It is important to protect your sensitive information that is stored in your computer by installing antivirus, firewall or spyware protection. Once you install these programs, turn on the auto-updating feature to make sure your software is up-to-date.
7. Do Online Shopping Carefully
Online shopping is quite popular these days. From clothing, household items and groceries are available to shop online at discounted prices. Also, you can easily book various kinds of services online as well. Thus, it has become even more important to never shop with unfamiliar and unsafe online retailers. Just do some research work beforehand to ensure the business is legit and trustworthy. Search online for customers’ reviews and feedback before shopping.
8. Never Download Anything From Pop-Up Windows
Be aware of pop-up windows that appear online and claim that your computer is unsafe. If you click on the pop-up and start downloading, it will scan your system or some other program. It is known as “malware” software scam that could damage your operating system.
9. Always Visit Safe Websites
10. Stop Direct Debit Straight Away
There are many websites or mobile apps that you may use to pay your phone bills and utility bills every month. If the payment has been set up as a Direct Debit, then you should stop that immediately. Get in touch with your bank to do stop this direct debit payment right away. Always, go to a safe website to pay your bill each month. You can set up payment due reminders but not direct debit option.