You swipe your card at the grocery store and the cashier tells you the one thing that nobody likes to hear: “Your card was declined”. You pull up your banking app on your phone and sure enough, your bank account is empty. Panic sets in because when you checked your bank before coming to the store you had over two hundred dollars in there.
You may have a few more problems than a grumbling stomach. It’s possible that you were a victim of fraud.
In this world, full of new technology this is happening more and more often. To help you protect yourself from fraud next time, check out these tips!
1. Keep Tabs on Your Credit Score
The last thing you want is to find out you’ve become a victim of fraud after you’ve been rejected for a loan that you should have been able to get easy. This is why you should always know what your credit score is.
There are many companies that you can go through to get a weekly or monthly credit score. If you do, you’ll be able to find a fraud attorney as soon as you notice a significant drop and get the situation resolved fast.
2. Have Strong Passwords
If you don’t have the best memory in the world you may be tempted to use the same password for every website that you’re on or use easy ones at the very least. This is one of the fastest ways to get your information stolen.
You should make a unique password for every site that you’re a member of. If you can’t think of anything you can use a password manager to make one up for you.
It may be hard for you to remember it but that’s why you have a pen and paper. write it down and put it in a secure location.
3. Don’t Believe Every Email and Text
Congratulations you’ve won a new iPad! All you need to do is email us your credit card number and bank account information and we’ll send it right to you. As soon as you email this information back, don’t be surprised if you have an empty bank account the next day.
This is a popular phishing scam that sometimes isn’t as obvious as in that example. Most of the time the emails and text messages seem to come from a legit company. That’s why you should always remain skeptical.
If something seems off, pull up Google and type in the company name and see if something pops up. Most of the time if there is a scam going on, at least a few people have posted about it.
4. Never Share Your Bank Details Over Social Media
This seems like a given but people fall into this trap all the time. Imagine a Facebook friend messages you telling you a sob story about their financial troubles. Being a good friend you decide to send them a bit of money.
It sounds awful but this is where being a good person has hurt you. Most of the time those messages didn’t come from your friend but a hacker pretending to be your friend. This hacker now has all the information they need to steal your information and money.
5. Don’t Share Personal Identity Information
Identity theft is one of the hardest forms of fraud to fight. There are many ways that someone can get your information. For example, you leave your wallet at the laundry mat.
This wallet has your credit card, your license, and your social security card in it. The person who found your wallet now has everything that they need to take your identity.
Another less straightforward way of losing your identity is, say a company offers you work online. You give them all the personal information that they need for you to start up.
Two weeks pass and you haven’t heard anything else out of them. You probably got your identity stolen.
6. If a Deal Seems too Good to be True, it is
Online shopping has become more and more popular lately and hackers are all over it. Take a look at the following scenario.
There is this shirt that you’ve been thinking about getting for a while. This shirt is always sold out. You check again during Cyber Monday and find a great deal on it.
In your excitement, you pounce on it before determining if the online store is legit or not. Your bank information is now in the hands of a hacker. Remember, if something seems too good to be true, it most likely is.
7. Be Wary of Online Dating
Yes, even in the world of online dating you need to be wary. Someone could seem like your soulmate and then one day come to you with a sob story. You like them so you send the money and then you never hear from them again.
We wish we could say this doesn’t happen often but it does. All the time. Keep in mind if someone seems super interested in how much money you make, you should think twice about talking to them further.
8. Be Careful with Buying and Selling in Marketplaces
Going back to online shopping, it’s not just crazy deals you should be skeptical about. Some people will pretend to sell things of value on say, the Facebook market place or Craigslist.
You give the person your payment information and then you never receive the item in the mail or the person you were supposed to meet up with to get your item never shows up. The next day you realize that your bank account has been drained.
How to Protect Yourself from Fraud
With advances in technology, fraud is becoming more and more common. You have to be a bit picky about where you put your personal information. Use these tips to protect yourself from fraud and keep your money where it belongs.
Want to keep up with the latest technology that hackers are using? Check out the technology section of our blog to stay in the know.