Cyber fraud puts pressure on all Internet users. However, it’s not only the innocent ones who fall victim to fraud: Anyone can be a victim as long as they are naive about cyber fraud. Avoiding credit disaster is the main reason why it is important to know how online fraud works. So, if you don’t want your finances to suffer from the debilitating effects of potential cyber-crimes, make sure you are prepared. Here are some helpful ways to avoid cyber fraud.
Know how to identify phishing emails and email scams.
If you’re an email user, then may have already opened an email message wherein the sender claims to be a member of a royal family or a government official from a foreign country. They ask for your financial assistance to help out some of their poor brothers and sisters, and what they can offer in return is an outstanding amount of money. This “promised” amount will be returned to you once they gather all the funds they need for their project. Your acts of charity may be good, but unfortunately, this is a credit scam and you will never receive the money they promised to return.
Because there are Internet-users who know how to avoid scams sent from spam emails, cyber-criminals have become more imaginative in defrauding their prey. Phishing emails spur usually rely on sophisticated technology and more convincing tactics. What phishing intends to do is to lure victims into credit fraud: The sender claims to be from a legitimate or well-known merchant, urging recipients to click on a link that redirects them to a “look-alike” site. Once inside, users can easily be tricked into releasing their personal information, which fraudsters can use for illegal transactions and opening fraud accounts. Other phishing scammers tend to pose as a representative from a bank institution, telling the user that his/her account has been used for suspicious activities. They then request the user to click on a link to “verify” the account information, and once they do, they have successfully fallen into the trap of fraudsters.
Keep track of legitimate and secured sites.
There are many ways to identify if the site you’re visiting is secure or not. First, there’s an icon of a “padlock” beside the name of the website across the URL bar, indicating higher level of security. Second, a secure website address usually begins with “https,” in which the “s” means “secure” or “security.” Finally, avoid clicking on unknown links especially if it comes from spam emails and pop-up advertisements – these can be dangerous to visit.
Know the other roles of your anti-virus.
Apart from protecting your device from unwanted viruses, anti-virus software also has the ability to prevent cyber crimes, as well as recognize reputable sites from phishing sites. There are some anti-viruses that feature “add-ons” to protect your browser from potential malware and online id theft. These services provide a detailed a report about the site you want to visit and usually alerts you if there’s something suspicious. Of course, you don’t want to proceed with that site if it poses significant risk for you and your identity. This is one way consumers can prevent id theft and online credit card fraud while browsing the web.
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