While it may be impossible to fully protect yourself from fraud, there are certainly plenty of ways in which you can impact on the likelihood of suffering from fraud. You should be looking for ways in which you can minimise your exposure to fraud and this is why you should follow these tips and guidelines.
Always bear in mind that if something sounds too good to be true, it usually is
This is one of the most commonly used sayings when people talk about avoiding fraud but it is a saying that is relevant. We all love a bargain and we are keen to find a great deal but you have to ask yourself whether a great deal is actually likely to occur. There are also great deals and there are “great deals”, deals which may seem too fantastic or exciting for you to even believe in. If this sounds like the deal that you have been offered, you should look to move on and keep your money.
Question yourself on whether an offer sounds legitimate
It is amazing how many people can get carried away when they think that they have won something or they have engineered a brilliant deal for themselves. If someone tells you that you have won a lottery or a grand prize draw, the first question you have to ask yourself is whether you actually bought a ticket or entered that draw. If you didn’t, it is probably fair to say that you haven’t won a legitimate prize, and it is best to forget all about the fantastic prize you have allegedly won.
Check emails closely
If you receive an email that claims to offer your personal account details, make sure that these account details are the relevant numbers. Many fraudsters and scammers place numbers onto their emails to make it look legitimate and then hope that people don’t actually check what the numbers are. This is often a very simple way of determining if an email is fraudulent or not.
You should also look at things like the address where the email came from or all of the logos attached on the email. If you have any other emails from the same organisation (or at least the organisation which the email claims to hail from), compare the two of them and see if they are the same. While many imitation emails are of a high standard, there are usually one or two differences that can be pinpointed to indicate that there is a difference between a genuine email and a fraudulent email.
Banks don’t ask for personal details
If you receive an email or a phone call from a bank and they ask for personal details or they want you to confirm your full password, don’t. Your bank will never act in this manner. If your bank needs to contact you, they will arrange for you to come into your branch and discuss matters with them. Never provide information over email or over the phone, no matter how genuine or insistent the caller or email is.
Be wary on social networking sites
Social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook can be a lot of fun but don’t put a lot of information about yourself on these sites. You should always make sure that you have privacy settings in place and you want to make sure that you don’t give too much away about your whereabouts.
Stay safe when shopping online
When you are shopping online, always make sure that the company and website you are buying from has a postal address. If there is no stated postal address or three is a P.O. box listed, it is best to buy from another site. You will also want to look out for two things when it comes to the purchase screen. You want to make sure that:
- The web address has changed from http:// to https://
- There is a padlock symbol, usually on the bottom right of the screen
Always ask questions
If something doesn’t feel right to you, feel free to ask questions. If someone is genuine, they will be able to answer your questions. If someone is a fraudster, they may become annoyed with your questions or they may not be able to answer them in a satisfactory manner.
There are many people looking to commit fraud but by following these steps, you should find that it is easier to avoid becoming a victim of fraud.
Andrew Reilly is a freelance writer with a focus on news stories and consumer interest articles. He has been writing professionally for 9 years but has been writing for as long as he can care to remember. When Andrew isn’t sat behind a laptop or researching a story, he will be found watching a gig or a game of football.