10 ways to prevent fraud
Scam artists are getting smarter and smarter. So you as a consumer must be just as smart. Especially when you are doing business online. Today I want to talk about ways you can prevent fraud.
Know who your doing business with
You would just walk up to someone and start giving them your personal information. Yet, when it comes to the internet people do it all the time. Identity thieves know how to draw that information out of you. Any time you are doing something on the web, if they start asking for a credit card or your social security number, that should be a red flag.
You have to ask yourself this question "Are these people a reputable business that I can trust?" If they are a company you have done business with before and know it is safe, then go ahead and give the information. If it is a company or someone that you have never done business with, then you have to decide is it really worth giving them the information. What are they going to do with that information?
One of the easiest places for this type of fraud to take place is loan companies or credit card companies online. There are so many of them out there and you really don't know them. Make sure you do business with reputable companies, not just a website that looks good.
Avoid Wiring Money
Wiring money is one of the easiest tricks for scammers. There is no recourse for you if they fail to follow through with what they promised. You can not get your money back. It is better to do business with a credit card or your bank account so that you can get credit protection.
A good example of this is my son Gabriel. He found a pet online that he wanted and the person asked him to wire the money. He sent the money off, but never got the pet. Which is sad, because it was something he really wanted. He called me to ask what he could do and unfortunately all I could do was tell him he lost him money.
Check your monthly statements regularly
It is imperative that you check your credit card and bank account statements regularly. I know some people who never do. Scammers hope for this. They will put one charge through and then if nothing happens, they will put another and another until they get caught. Checking your account statements regularly will put an end to this kind of charging.
Be sure to check for any irregular charges that you don't recognize. Once you find one, call your bank or credit card company to have them put a stop on it. Your bank and credit card companies will have legal ways to get to the person charging and trust me they will!
When giving to charities
It is sad, but the scammers come out like crazy during times of needs. For instance, when hurricane Katrina hit. There were some charities online asking for money that were not reputable. I saw in the news where several thousand dollars were paid into these types of charities and the people were never caught.
Make sure you know who you are giving to. There is a website, consumers.ftc.gov, where you can check out the reputation of a charity before you send money.
There is never a sure thing when you invest. However, you can up your chances when you invest with a good company. Don't be fooled by someone telling you that you could make lots of money if you invest with them. Ponzei schemes seem to be cropping up every where nowadays even though they are against the law.
Do not click links in emails
One the most prevalent scams of all is with emails. They send you an email saying that your account information needs to be updated. On top of that they steal the logos from our credit card or bank and make the email look real. The only difference is, the link is not a valid link to your company.
Scammers have learned a lot of ways to hide links and make them look real. The best advice I can give here, is NEVER click a link in an email. Open your companies website and check in it to see if there are any changes needed. 99.9% of the time, you will find their isn't.
Do not give out your personal information
This goes back to know who your doing business with. Identity theft is very high right now. I am amazed at how easily people give up their social security number and other information to people. We do it without thinking really. However, anytime someone asks for this information, it should be a red flag to you. Stop and make sure you know who it is that is asking. Is it really necessary that they have this information?
Protect your information at home
Your tired. You just got home from work. You lay your mail on your desk to look at later. How many of you reading this, just leave your mail on your desk? This sets you up for identity theft and fraud. You should keep all your bills with personal information locked up.
If someone were to break into your house, they will be able to get all kinds of information from you. When you are done paying a bill, file it away in a locked box so that no one can get the information. Be sure to shred any papers you don't want. This will help protect you at home.
Protect your information in your wallet
It is very common for women to carry things in their purse. I think we all grew up carrying our social security card. The truth is, this is not a good thing. Any personal items like this should be kept at home in a locked box and only brought out when it is needed. Keep them safe where no one can get to them.
If you have credit cards or bank cards, never ever carry your pin numbers in your wallet as well. You should use a pin that is easily remembered by you. Should you drop your wallet and you have the pin in there, it would be so easy for someone to rob you blind.
Never agree to deposit a check
Several scams online today ask you to process checks for them. You deposit the check, send them a part of the money and you keep the rest for payment. Checks take up to seven days to process sometimes. By the time you find out the check is not honored, the person is gone and you won't ever be able to find them. Protect yourself and just make it a rule to never deposit a check for someone else.
With these 10 ways to prevent fraud, I hope that I have given you enough information so that you can protect yourself. We all fall victim to crime now and then. However, we can learn to lesson our chances. Protect yourself and stay safe!
I’m sure that I am leaving out some information. What other tips can you provide about this issue?