Communication, in particular internet and phone communication has changed all our lives: we communicate faster and easier at any time of the day and we can send and receive money.
However there is a bad side to this speed and convenience-scammers! Usually the scammer will send you a message via text messaging or email and it will appear to originate from a person, business, or group that you know. They will send an urgent sounding message and tell you to act quickly. You are then given instructions to make contact using a phone number or a masked link to the bogus company immediately to solve “the problem”.
The criminal now has access to your passwords and whatever other information you provided. Or, worse your money!
Here are some things you can do to protect yourself
- Be suspicious of ‘ you have been chosen to participate in or to make money ’ messages
Everyone wants to make money but there are some things that should make you suspicious like promises to you about easy ways to make money online: especially with the condition that you put up a few hundred of your own money first.
Be always wary of money prizes that sound too good to be true or of texts telling you to send money.
- Talk with the person you are sending ( or receiving ) money
Let them know which service provider you are using and which number you will use. Also, ask them to phone you if they get a message to send the money to an alternative number. More important, do report the incident to the communication authority, the individual and the company about the scammer.
- Frequently Change your passwords and personal identification numbers
It’s tempting to use the same digits or password for your email, bank account and retail sites, but doing so puts you at risk for hacking. If one site’s security is jeopardized, then suddenly the scammer could potentially access all of your accounts. Sign up for two-step authentication when possible, and have passwords that are difficult to guess. Maybe in the vernacular!
Since your smartphone contains so much personal data, be sure to add a password to it, so if you lose it, you won’t be putting all that data at risk
- Avoid using public free Wi-Fi when shopping or banking
While shopping online at a public Wi-Fi hub is convenient, it can also put your card data at risk. That’s because public Wi-Fi networks aren’t private, so other people could potentially see the data being transmitted over them.
Experts suggest skipping online shopping or conducting financial transactions, including logging into a bank account, while using a public internet hot spot.
- Contact the phone or internet company
You should contact the organisations being used to commit scams and let them know that someone is impersonating them. Forward the email to them so that they can follow the issue; either to filter out these scammers or to update their firewall and prevent the same scammer from targeting more people.