How to avoid being a victim of financial fraud
While the pandemic increased our dependence on the digital economy and accelerated the use of online payments, it has also led to an increase of many different types of fraud. Data breaches, identity theft, online scams and stolen credit cards are very frequently in the news. Here are some simple and practical ways you can protect yourself and minimise the risk of becoming a victim of financial fraud.
Avoid logging into your bank account using public Wi-Fi
Public Wi-Fi hotspots are a quick and easy way to get online when you are not at home. However, unlike your internet connection at home, not all public hotspots are password protected, which means anyone can connect to it and steal your financial information. If for some reason you want to access your bank account while in a public place, make sure you use mobile data services like 3G or 4G instead.
Never reveal sensitive financial information to a person/business you don’t know
Scammers will sometimes call, text or email you, claiming to be a retailer, a local authority, or a financial institution such as a bank, investment or insurance company. They will say anything to convince you to give your credit card number, PIN or bank account details. Remember that your bank will never contact you asking for your PIN, password, online account credentials, secure access code, so never provide any personally identifiable information unless you are absolutely certain the person/company and reason are legitimate.
Choose passwords that are difficult for anyone else to guess
Hackers can easily craft passwords that are simple number combinations, like 123456, your date of birth and phone number, or a common pet name and the word ‘password’. Make yourself secured online by creating strong passwords, that is, are at least eight characters long, include some lower and upper case letters, numbers and special characters, as well as setting up two-factor authentication wherever possible. Also, try to use a different password for every website you visit.
Check your bank account statements regularly
When fraudsters steal your bank account information, they often make small charges first (€1 here, €6 there) before going big. So it’s important to check your bank account statements regularly so that you can make sure you can account for every transaction. If you can’t recall any specific transaction, call your bank right away and report the suspicious activity.
Follow these 4 tips to outsmart even the most cunning fraudsters and protect your hard-earned money. And always, if you have any questions or financial concerns, feel free to contact us on +357 7000 8812 or firstname.lastname@example.org.