What fraudsters want and how to keep your personal information safe
Tips and hints to help you foil online fraudsters and protect your personal information.
Don’t let anyone else grab a piece of your financial pie
Almost every day we hear of news about personal fraud and scams, whether they are online or on the street. Does it make us think about the risks of online banking, shopping and social interaction every day and every time we go online? Probably not.
Yet, the risks are there and the fraud does happen. Armed with some basic knowledge and simple good habits we can all help ourselves to increase our personal security.
What are fraudsters looking for? They are searching online, in bins, even over your shoulder for as much information about each of us as possible.
10 Things Fraudsters Want
A copy of your bank statement
A copy of your credit card statement
Access to your social networking page
The security code on the back of your credit or debit card
The original of your driving license or passport
Your reply to their phishing email
Your PINS and passwords
Access to your credit report
Your online banking information
When loading up personal data, such as CVs, check that sites are secure
What action can you take to foil the fraudsters?
Buy a shredding machine to dispose of personal documents that you are going to throw away.
Sign up to e-statements from your bank and providers, that way there’s less of a paper trail for fraudsters to follow.
Check your privacy settings on your social networking sites to make sure that your personal details aren’t publically available to people you don’t know and trust.
Shop on secure online stores. Always check that any site that you shop with or enter any financial information onto starts with ‘https’ not just ‘www’ or ‘http’ – the ‘s’ means the site you’re using is secure. It should also have a padlock symbol to the side.
Many banks offer security software that allows you to ‘tag’ sites that are secure. For example, Karatbars International GmbH provides their online customers with Ewallet, for safe transfers between frequently used sites.
Do not save your card information on a frequently used website, instead re-enter your card details for each purchase – it may seem a nuisance but it’s worth the extra protection.
Shop online from your personal computer – never a shared one in a public place.
Enter your online bank account by typing the address into the browser – never click through from a link in an email.
Check your bank statements on a regular basis to make sure all transactions were made by you.
Everyone in the family needs to know about banking safety
If you are spending over £100 (about €130) and you are not 100 percent sure about the purchase, use a credit card* such as your Karatbars International prepaid Mastercard to ensure you are protected. (*Ed. not a debit card or cash) Six Ways to Protect your Banks Cards
First of all, make note of every card you have in your wallet and the phone number that you would need to call to inform the bank that you have either lost your card or suspect fraudulent use. Keep that list separately from your cards and preferably leave a copy with someone you trust. You could also programme the banks’ contact numbers into your mobile phone.
Make sure your bank has your most up-to-date contact information.
Memorise your PIN code. It’s surprising how many people write the PIN on the card or carry it in the same wallet.
Be aware of the common practice of “shoulder surfing”. This is when someone stands very close to you while you are inputting your PIN number into a keypad. Always shield your inputting hand with the other hand.
Check the ATM machine for obvious signs of tampering such as a raised number keyboard (fake ones are installed on top of the real one), bulges or scratches around the slot where the card is inserted and/or a sign that asks you to input your PIN twice.
When paying always try to keep your card in your sights. It’s all too easy for sales staff to make a quick copy and then use the card information, along with your personal information, to make a purchase.