There is no denying that the internet remains one of the greatest inventions of all time. While it has offered us the freedom and opportunity to perform certain tasks like sending information, communicating, and the ease of carrying out transactions over long distances, it has also given room for a massive number of internet frauds that happen daily.
Today, as the number of people accessing the internet continues to increase, so does the number of fraudsters and scam artists. A few years back, it used to be reasonably safe online, but nowadays there are various dangers you have to watch out for.
Unfortunately, while the threat of online fraud and scam is one that cannot easily be eradicated, there are however things you can do to prevent or avoid falling prey to online scams and some of them include;
Check the authenticity of the seller/platform
If you are going to do any business transaction online, it is pertinent always to verify the company/business’s contact details or information. Essentials like company address, telephone number, e-mail address amongst others should be clearly stated. Once you choose a platform, whether plus500 vs trading 212 or others, you have to ensure it’s 100% safe and secure. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.
If it sounds or looks too good to be true, then it probably is
Many people fall prey to online scammers because they fail to realize when something is way better than expected. While this is not applicable in every situation, it is still necessary to point out that one should be careful about believing things that sound too good. One way that online scammers operate nowadays is by sending users e-mails about potentially becoming rich overnight. These scams are usually targeted at those who are less experienced with their computers; however, it is not limited to that sect as anyone can still be a victim.
To be skeptical, in this case, means, always have your doubts and reservations. Question everything from email offers to mail solicitors and even links on social media. Online scammers are experts when it comes to making their scams look legitimate. This is why before you respond in any way, thoroughly think it through. You could also check it out as a quick web search or even phone call as this could save you from potentially losing a substantial amount of money.
Guard your personal information
Online scammers use various tricks to get you to reveal your account numbers or passwords. In some cases, they could make calls pretending to be with your credit card company, or most times they send bogus emails designed to make it appear as if it came directly from your bank. Irrespective of what they say, never divulge your personal information, because, in reality, those who need your pins and account numbers already have them. They would never resolve to sending you an email or calling you to ask for them.
Use a credit card for all online purchases
Unlike a debit card, a credit card provides you with better fraud protection. A credit card allows you to dispute an unauthorized charge which the credit card company must take off your bill pending the investigation. One can also dispute a credit card charge if the product is defective or hasn’t arrived and the company has refused to help.
Act fast if scammed
Finally, if you fall victim to an online scam, do not fret but rather ensure you act fast and take decisive actions. Contact your bank, the police, and any other important organization or person who may need to know. If you are defrauded online, don’t assume the police can’t do anything, remember there are cyber units in police departments that can help with your prom. Also, contact your bank and have them stop any further transactions being made if your banking information has been compromised.
It is necessary to understand that the possibility of falling victim to online fraud is very real. Please do not assume that you are too smart or knowledgeable as it can happen to anyone. While these tips will allow you to spot when something seems bogus, it also falls on you to research thoroughly before engaging in any online transaction with any business or person.