10 Ways To Protect Yourself From Online Fraud

Online internet banking frauds are a common occurrence in today’s world where major transactions happen through net banking, UPI, and other online modes of payment. In 2019, there were around 2,000 cases of online banking frauds in India, out of which the maximum (552) cases were recorded in the state of Maharashtra alone. This is alarming, specially when online transactions are the most widely used mode of payment today.

One needs to be cautious while making online payments. There are a few ways listed below, that can help in fraud prevention and protection-

  1. Do not fall a victim of phishing: There are several types of internet frauds and most common amongst these is phishing. In this case you receive an email which looks legitimate but is actually fake, luring you to click on a link that exposes your personal information. Once you enter any data that data is now leaked to the hacker or fraud and can be used for any form of illegal activity. Always be careful while you click on any links on your phone or email and do not provide information on the internet unless necessary.
  2. Online friends can be frauds: Do not pass on your personal details or fall for schemes that sound too good to be true. These can be fake and can work as phishing sites trying to extract personal credentials.
  3. Beware of online shopping scams: Do not buy prepaid goods from any link or site that is not trusted. You may end up paying for products that will never arrive.
  4. Different passwords for different accounts: Sometimes just for the ease of remembering passwords, we tend to keep the same password for all our logins be it social media, bank account or retail sites. This increases the risk of your password being easily hacked and exposed. Therefore, it is best to have unique passwords for specially the sites where you carry our monetary transactions.
  5. Complain about goods not received: During festive season when online purchases are high, several times sites book for prepaid orders and do not deliver them. It is important to report such instances, so that the fraud can be avoided for others and the accused be caught.
  6. Make Money Online’ ads are a scam: Several times our screens pop up with ads showing ‘Make Money Online’, thereby asking you to pay an amount which can be as low as Rs. 1,500 with the promise of providing long term benefits and returns. Do not fall for such scams.
  7. Secondhand vehicles can be unsafe: It is important that you check for vehicle history before buying a vehicle online through various reselling sites. The sites take no ownership of who posts to sell on their site and their maybe instance that after paying a vehicle may be received in damaged condition or the vehicle may have been involved in an accident earlier which may get you in unnecessary trouble.
  8. Verify with your loved ones before sending them money: Several instances have been reported where generally grandparents receive calls from a fraud (posing as their grandchild) asking them to send money urgently. Generally, grandparents do so out of love and fall victim to the scam, thereby losing their money. So, it is always good to connect with your loved ones over phone and verify before sending money.
  9. Public Wi-Fi can put your credit card at risk: In case you want to do online shopping using a public wi-fi, say that of a coffee shop or community wi-fi, this may put your credit card data at risk. As per experts, one should avoid conducting financial transactions or logging into bank accounts over public wi-fi.
  10. Passwords are a must– In todays world where you have all your data in your mobile phone, be it personal or financial, it is important that your phone is password protected in case it is lost. You will still have your data secure.

Keep the above tips in mind to have a safe digital experience ensuring financial and personal data safety. You may think that internet banking fraud would not happen to you, but this is not ascertained. So, it is best to make simple life choices that prevent you from losing your money to some frauds and thieves. Also, having an insight about online fraud prevention helps you stay informed and educated not just for yourself but for the society at large.

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