Financial scams are, unfortunately, very prominent nowadays with our current access to technology. Perhaps you or a friend have received suspicious emails, phone calls, or text messages as scammers posing as banks. Maybe you even know someone who has been scammed. Fortunately, many scammers tend to use the same methods, which is why we’ve designed a list of tips and tricks to keep in mind while protecting your finances and your personal accounts.
- Get in a good habit of checking regularly on your bank accounts. This can help you immediately spot strange transactions or times you were overcharged. Strongly consider downloading an app for your bank account that you can check often. Online banking is efficient, fast, and will keep you on top of your financial records.
- Only shop online with trusted brands. With online shopping being so prevalent, it’s important to proceed with caution and only shop with trusted vendors, especially with smaller websites. If a website or brand is unfamiliar to you, look up their payment policies and reviews online. This can help save you from your account being drained.
- Avoid online purchases while using unfamiliar Wi-Fi networks. Ideally, try to only online shop while at your home or at a place with a trusted Wi-Fi network. Sometimes, using public Wi-Fi can open up doors for scammers, due to its unpredictable connections.
- Never give personal information to people over the phone without confirmation. One of the most common techniques that are used by financial scammers is “phishing,” which is when they pose as a bank or an official asking for personal information. Many times, they will add a sense of urgency, such as “we’ve been trying to contact you for weeks,” or “your credit card balance has not yet been paid.” Always call your bank or your insurance agent to see if they indeed were trying to contact you because of a problem with your account. If not, block the caller’s number and email address, and do not try to carry on a conversation.
- Keep your passwords secure. Switch up your passwords between websites and update them after a few years. Using the same passwords for all your accounts can become dangerous and opens up ways for you to be scammed multiple times. Apps such as LastPass and Dashlane are proven to be safe and dependable sites to store passwords.
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