10 Ways To Prevent Yourself From Internet Fraud
These days, consumers rely on the internet and perform transactions and communication through electronic means. With increasing number of businesses and consumers who rely on connectivity, internet fraud also came on the rise. These are illegal activities, schemes that operate in the web, which costs its victims up to millions of dollars a year.
Common examples of internet fraud are identity theft, illegal email solicitations, phishing and money scams. Anyone can be a victim of internet fraud. Be smart and know different ways to avoid being scammed.
1. Develop high sense of internet skepticism
What are Phishing attempts? Phishing attempts lure you to provide your personal information (email, credit card number, password, etc.). They hide under a name of a trustworthy or legitimate unit and will get information they can use on their advantage. Be skeptic, don't give out sensitive information. Be sure to make online transactions by a secured source. Ask them why they need the information and why it's needed.
2. Consult your doctor
Most scammers lure you into buying their products by giving false promises. Before you purchase anything, seek your doctor's advice first. They can be dangerous to health. Buy prescription drugs from licensed pharmaceutical companies.
3. Unleash your inner detective
Try to do a little research. Find the address of the person you're dealing with, or verify the authenticity of the company. Look for the company website and scan the web for reviews. If you find negative review, you may not want to continue transacting with that entity.
4. Be careful when wiring money
There are people who will take advantage of you by asking you to send money by wiring it overseas. Wiring money is the same as sending in cash. Common ploys claim that they are relatives experiencing an emergency and need money.
5. Invest at your own risk
Stay away from those who promise low risk investments. They usually demand that you send cash immediately. Truth is every investment is risky, study all options before you invest in something.
6. Donate to established charities
Be careful when donating to pop-up charities in the aftermath of a disaster. Make sure you donate to certified charities or directly give your donation to affected people themselves. Do some research online for a list of accredited charitable institutions.
7. Review monthly statements
Most people ignore reading their monthly statements because it takes too much time. Make a good habit of reviewing your monthly credit card statements and taking note of your expenses. Scammers steal information and use it to purchase goods and services. So if you see something came up in your bill that you didn't even purchase, better call your bank or card issuer immediately.
8. Don't reply to anonymous messages
This is a common ploy you wouldn't want to fall for. Never respond to emails, messages, or phone calls stating emergency from anonymous persons. They will just lure you to reveal personal information specially your bank details.
9. Never engage in foreign lottery
Cut the long story short, it's illegal to play foreign lottery. Taxes, fees, and custom duties are some of the things you have to pay for. Unless you're okay with never getting your money back, never engage in any foreign lottery or sweepstakes.
10. Don't deposit checks
Do not be easily swayed when depositing checks. You are responsible for every check you deposit so make sure it isn't fake or you'll pay the bank.