8 ways to protect yourself against financial scams
Online scams are becoming more sophisticated, which unfortunately means it’s getting easier to fall for them. Your scam radar should be on high alert – whether you’re answering a call, reading an email, or shopping online.
We’ve put together a bunch of tips to help you stay a step ahead of the scammers.
Watch your credit score like a hawk 👁️
Your credit score is a number that reflects your credit history. If you see a sudden and unexpected drop, something fishy could be going on.
Thankfully, it takes just a couple of minutes to. Plus, you can see what’s on your credit file and keep track of your score over time, making it easier to spot if there’s something on there that shouldn’t be.
Keep an eye on your financial activity 🏦
The quicker you catch a scammer, the sooner you can stop them in their tracks. It’s smart to keep an eye on your financial activity, including transactions and statements across all accounts.
If you spot a transaction you didn’t make, contact your financial institution straight away. If you have an account with MONEYME, you can check your activity anytime via our app.
Be careful when shopping online 🛍️
Scammers play a bunch of tricks on online shoppers – from offering unbelievable deals via fake websites to steal your card details to persuading you to pay for products or services that don’t exist.
Every time you go online shopping, double check the URL to ensure it’s legitimate, and only buy from sites with secure payment facilities.
In doubt? Contact the brand via phone or a reliable email address.
Stick to banks and lenders with advanced security 🚔
Banks and lenders that aren’t careful with security put your money at risk.
Avoid engaging with financial institutions without advanced security features. These might include multi-factor authentication, alerts for suspicious activity, and the option to switch off your bank card in your online account.
In case you’re wondering, MONEYME uses bank-grade encryption and advanced security on all products.
Know where your credit card is at all times 💳
One of the most straightforward and oldest scams is getting hold of someone’s credit card or credit card details, then going on a spending spree.
Be mindful of where you enter your credit card details online, never share your card details with someone who contacts you via email, on social media or on your phone (even if they appear to be someone you know).
And should your card go missing or you notice odd transactions, block it immediately and contact your financial institution.
Use strong, complex passwords 💪🏼
Your password is often your first line of defence against scammers.
To make yours strong, choose a nonsensical phrase or a jumble of numbers, letters, and special characters. Never use easily identifiable details, such as your name, hometown, or date of birth.
Ensure that every one of your accounts has a unique password, rather than re-using the same password across multiple accounts.
If you have too many passwords to keep in your head, you could consider using a password manager, such as LastPass or Keeper, to store your passwords securely.
Educate yourself about phishing 🎣
Phishing is the use of emails, text messages or calls to trick you into sharing personal details, paying money, clicking on suspicious links, or downloading malicious files.
Be aware of unexpected calls or messages that offer amazing deals, state you’ve won prizes, or trigger urgent action, such as paying an overdue account.
If you’re even slightly suspicious, don’t reply or click on anything. Instead, contact the relevant company via a phone number or email address you know to be legitimate.
Follow your gut feeling 🧐
Got a sense that something isn’t right? Don’t ignore it. If you think your account’s been hacked, change your password immediately. If you see something suspicious, report it without hesitation.
It’s always better to be safe than sorry.