The financial fraud and scams rate has recently been at an all-time high. Scammers and fraudsters are relentlessly finding new and innovative ways to deceive people and defraud them of their hard-earned money. No matter how clever you consider yourself, it is pretty easy to fall victim to such incidents. And maybe if not you, your parents and older loved ones are very much susceptible to these scams.
Financial Fraud can come in different forms, and while it has become a commonality in our society, there are times when you might not know you have been scammed until much later. Financial fraud occurs when an individual or organization is deprived of its capital, investment, or savings through misleading or illegal practices. Technological advancement gives more opportunities to be deceived and scammed online. Scammers have more reach and easier methods to carry out their operations.
It is important to be aware that these scams exist and to stay alert in your daily online and offline financial transactions. To avoid falling prey to these fraudsters and scammers, you must remain sceptical in your online interactions and be wary of malicious websites without data protection. Here are a few tips you can adopt to spot financial scams and frauds.
- Protect your personal information
Your personal information, such as banking passwords, user IDs, and PINs, must be safely secured. Protecting your personal information that grants access to your money and assets from your bank and investments is of utmost importance. Do not disclose your personal information to anyone; keep them confidential and close to you. It is also advisable to frequently update passwords and change transaction PINs.
- Online security
Many financial scams are carried out online, so you must be careful in your online activities. Technology allows for most banking transactions to be done online, and without the proper online security, the risk of falling victim to fraud is higher. Do not visit malicious websites that are not protected and can steal your personal information. Fraudsters use these websites and fictitious pop-ups to trick you; your devices should have the latest operating system, browsers, and antivirus software installed.
- Report spam calls, messages, and emails
Fraudsters and scammers are relentlessly attempting to defraud people, and one of them is through spam. Spam is irrelevant or unsolicited messages sent over the internet for advertising, phishing, spreading malware, etc. Everyone has, at some point, gotten weird text messages, emails, or even phone calls regarding a promo they never signed up for. It is important to report such emails and texts as spam, block such numbers, and stay alert. Doing this also prevents future recurrence and protects other people from being victims to the same perpetrators.
- Do not be tempted by high returns
There is a saying that goes, “if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is”. This means if something seems more exciting, pleasing, or ideal than reasonable, it likely isn’t genuine, legitimate, or true. Adopting this mindset and being wary of investments with high returns will help you avoid falling for financial scams. Investment scams such as the pyramid and Ponzi schemes prey on the greed of people looking for quick and high returns. Be careful of the promise of quick and easy money as it never pans out.
- Do online investigation and searches
A major scam that people fall for involves making purchases from online stores that never get delivered. The internet provides a wealth of information that comes in handy in such a situation. You should conduct online searches on businesses you buy from or people you come in contact with for financial reasons. You should research the social media accounts, websites, and even email contacts to verify the legitimacy of such people. With applications like TrueCaller, you can check if a phone number has been reported as spam and websites such as NumLooker perform a thorough search using a number or an email address. It is necessary to stay vigilant.
Remember, your financial institutions and platforms like BizVest will never ask you for your personal information, and your data is protected when conducting transactions with us. Share this article with your friends and family to stay protected against financial scams and frauds.