So you got an email from an airline company that asked you to verify your credit card information and you were sent to a third party site that looked legit. You entered in your credit card information and a few days later, you noticed the money had gone missing from your account but no airline tickets. Well, my friend, you have been officially “phished”. In other words, you were the victim of fraud.
Here is a list of ways that you can make yourself “fraud” savvy or just to have a better idea about how to protect yourself online and offline:
1. When you come across a company that you wish to buy something from, make sure you do due diligence ie find out the physical address, read reviews, read potential scam reports etc. Take all the info you can find online and then make your decision.
2. Charities are some of the biggest entities hit by fraud. Make sure you do research on the charity before giving. You won’t be sorry. There are criminals setting-up scam operations daily, especially for non-profit projects, and they are just waiting to take advantage of your soft heart. Be aware.
3. Go though all of your account statements on a frequent basis. Often fraudsters can get a hold of numbers without you doing anything. It is wise to check all your statements for discrepancies.
4. If you are planning to “invest” money in one company or another, be a realist. Many people have the wrong idea about investing. It is NOT a sure thing. there always exists the possibility of losing your money. If you are looking for “guaranteed” investment or certificates, it may be better to get something from the government. If you really insist on investing in a less known company, make sure you do your due diligence.
5. Do not wire money without being sure of what you are doing. Remember that Nigerian prince who wants to send you money but needs all your bank info and address to do so? We’ll he’s not so princely after all. If you get an email like this, requesting your personal info from some sort of “overseas” entity you’ve never heard of, walk away, don’t waste your time..
6. Beware of fake products especially in the health product realm. There are so many mislabeled products and misleading statements regarding a plethora of products that you would do very well to speak with an expert in your neighborhood before purchasing an unknown product.
We hope these few tips will help you on your way to being fraud-proof. All and all, be careful out there!