Tips to Keep Your Personal Details Safe Online

How to Avoid Online Fraud

An increasing number of people become a victim of online and offline fraud or identity theft every year. Fraudsters are more sophisticated than ever and most of them have proven ways to get money out of their victims. As setting up a fraud does not cost a lot compared to the potential profit, it is widespread all over the world.

But what can the consumer do to beat fraud and identity theft? What are the sure signs of scams and fraud and how can one spot them without any financial education? Although there are various sites set up to help people avoid hoaxes, identity theft and fraud, there are new ways of cheating developed every day.

·         Fraudsters try very hard to disguise themselves and appear legitimate. The first thing we can do is to be vigilant and make sure we check the identity of the person contacting us before we give out any personal information to anybody.

·         Listen to your gut. Remember the old saying: "If something seems to be too good to be true, it probably is."? Check out the offer you are made online or offline, look up the company, ask questions and a contact number if you have any doubts initially.

·         Online fraud is the most common problem today, as fraudsters can hide their real identity easily online. Fraud over the internet is usually associated with identity theft. Fraudsters try to get personal information and passwords from the consumer in order to get access to their account.

·         If you are getting an email that appears to be from your bank, you should never reply to it. Never click on the link and only enter the site via typing in the address yourself. If you are convinced it is a phishing email you can forward it to the relevant fraud department of the company.

·         To beat fraud we have to try and keep all our personal information safe. Never give out passwords to sites or telephone banking, credit card pin numbers.  

·         Try and sign up for an identity protection scheme with your bank. Even the most vigilant people can make mistakes, so make sure you have got the protection you need in case something goes wrong.

It is also important that you do check your credit file regularly to see if anyone used your personal information to obtain credit in your name.