How to Protect Yourself from Online Scams

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Online scammers have evolved over the years. The biggest scam isn’t getting a mysterious email from a Nigerian Prince asking you to wire transfer them money any more. Scammers have found new, frustrating ways to trick everyday people into losing their money.

Research Websites Ahead of Time

Before you insert your banking information into a website that you’ve never visited before, do a little bit of research to see whether the site appears to be legitimate. Say that you’re planning on applying for a personal loan online to help you cover an emergency expense that your budget can’t handle. You’ll want to be sure that the loan provider is legit. To help you figure this out, you should know these 7 warning signs that an online loan provider isn’t legitimate. This ought to deter you from providing an unreliable source with your financial details.

Or perhaps you would want to support a worthy cause by contributing money to a charity. That’s fantastic, but you should confirm that the funds are going to the appropriate organization before donating. If you’re not careful, you could be giving your money — or worse, your banking information — to a scam organization.

How can you check to see whether a charitable website is legitimate? First, check that the webpage address begins with “https” — this means any personal information that you submit is encrypted and transferred securely. A webpage address that begins with “http” cannot promise this. You should also look up the charity on websites like Charity Navigator and CharityWatch. These websites will let you know whether the charity you’re looking into is legitimate and trustworthy.

Use Your Credit Card

When you’re making transactions online, you should use your credit card.

Your credit card will offer more protections against identity theft and financial fraud than your debit card. Many credit cards offer zero liability for unauthorized charges. This means that the user won’t have to pay anything if they are a victim of credit card fraud.

What if your credit card doesn’t offer zero liability for unauthorized charges? Don’t panic. The Fair Billing Credit Act limits your liability to $50. So, even if your card doesn’t offer zero liability, you won’t have to pay very much in the terrible circumstance that a scammer steals your card and uses it for fraudulent means.

In Comparison to Debit Cards

You won’t be without any protections with your debit card. Federal law states that – users are liable to a limit of $50 for unauthorized purchases used with their debit card. But there is a catch. This liability limit is only available to users who report debit card fraud within two business days. If you pass that deadline but make a report within 60 days of your last bank statement – you face a maximum liability of $500. And if you wait longer than that, you may be liable for all of the losses resulting from unauthorized charges.

To protect yourself, use a credit card when making transactions online. And check your accounts regularly to make sure that you catch any signs of fraud right away.

Don’t Click on Suspicious Links

Know about Phishing scam. Sending you an email or direct message with the intention of getting you to click on a link is known as a phishing scam. You might click on the link and be sent to a fake website where you are asked to enter personal information like your password and bank card number. Or, the link could trick you into downloading malware onto your computer or smartphone. Whatever you do, do not click on these suspicious links. It’s better to be safe than sorry.

Don’t get tangled up in one of the latest online scams. Keep safe your personal information and your hard-earned money safe.

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