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Online fraud happens when impostors steal money from victims on the internet. There are many types of online scams which include internet phishing scams, online shopping scams, and online dating scams.
While conducting business through the internet is handy, it may also frighten you. The idea of your hard-earned money falling into the wrong hands is terrifying, scammers. Or Yahoo Yahoo boys, as they’re known in Nigeria.
Keeping cash secure while retaining the benefits of online payments is a big worry for anyone who wishes to make an online transaction globally. The threat scammers pose also affects Malawians. As the Yahoo boys have already swindled some Malawians.
In this post, I’ll discuss some tips for making secure online payments. Many people have asked me about this subject. In particular, people I’ve helped set up PayPal accounts and readers of my new eBook, Online Shopping from China and the United States to Malawi.
I hope the advice I’ll give here is helpful to everyone who wishes to make secure online payments with bank cards or PayPal.
Here are some helpful hints.
Internet Phishing Scams and emails
Internet phishing scams are among the most common types of internet fraud. Phishing scams happen when con artists send emails that appear to be from a well-known source such as a bank, an internet service provider, or a reputable international NGO.
However, the scammers ask the consumer to provide personal identifying information, including card data. To keep safe, always validate emails that ask for personal details.
Keeping card information safe
Many sites allow payment using bank cards. The good news is that some Malawian banks offer cards that can make payments. Especially those Visa branded ATM cards or MasterCard. While not all cards produced by local banks work, it is easy to get an ATM card if one has a bank account.
As far as making online payments is concerned, there are few details on the cards that are crucial.
It is those details we must keep private. The major risks with cards come when one disclsoes card details to the wrong hands.
On the face of the card, there is a cardholder’s name. This is the name that appears on the face of the card. Simply put, this is the name of the authorized owner of the card.
For cards with a name, simply input the registered name associated with the bank account.
Besides the card name, there is the card number. This is the longest, 20-digit number on the face of the card. For most visa cards, it starts with the digit 4… eg 4045 3456 7890 1234.
Then, we have the expiry date on the card.
And lastly, is the svc, which is a three-digit code at the back of the card. It is usually at the end of the signature stripe… at the back of the card.
We must always keep these details secure. Giving these details to an unknown person is giving them access to your funds. It exposes you to potential scammers and online theft.
Always pay through encrypted secure websites. One key to distinguishing a safe website from an unsafe website is the availability of encryption software.
Websites with a green rock on the address bar are safer than those without the rock. The rule of thumb is to always stay away from websites without encryption. Secure websites do not keep card details we input on the website.
It is necessary to do a background search on the trustworthiness of the website. It is critical to have historical data for any website that accepts online payments. It’s much better to question people who have used the same sites before, so you may benefit from their knowledge.
And we now move to the third tip…
Pay with PayPal at check out
A payment check-out system is implemented on secure websites. For most items, the system contains pre-defined amounts. When ordering a few products from the shopping basket, the application calculates the total automatically. The PayPal system then directs you to the login page whenever you’re ready to begin the payment procedure.
You log in with your PayPal credentials to allow debiting of the amount. As a result, when making a PayPal payment, keep your password safe. Never give out your password to anyone. After each purchase, remember to log out of your account. This is especially critical while using a shared device or browsing on a public network.
Avoid offsite PayPal payments
Avoid making off-site PayPal payments to stay safe online. Payments sent directly to a PayPal email address or via a PayPal request link are known as direct payments. Don’t transfer money to someone’s PayPal email account if you don’t know them or have suspicions about them.
The problem is that monies sent directly cannot be traced, especially if the fraudster deletes his or her account shortly after defrauding some people.
Stay away from $1 subscription sites and free points
I recall a friend referring me to a beautiful website back in 2014, a website with visually appealing visuals. He informed me it offers points, which I will withdraw from my bank account once they reach $500.
How does it work?
I followed the link provided by a friend.
Then made a user account. When someone signed up through my link, I would see my points accumulate on the account dashboard. It appeared to be too good to be true.
I shared the link with a couple of other people. The next day, I discovered that my account amount had increased to nearly $500… Incredible! Then, they wanted me to make a $1 test deposit with my bank card in order to withdraw the monies. This made little sense to me. My suspicions grew.
I told another friend about the news. And after some deliberation, we realized it was a ploy. I checked with the person who sent me the link to see if he had received funds… your guess is as good as mine.
He had little luck with that as well. He, too, recognized he’d fallen into a trap. I’ve seen similar sites since then. Some websites ask you to play online games. They give you points; but when you reach a certain level, they asked for your credit card information. Alternatively, they request you to make a small deposit.
When you’re online, stay vigilant. Scammers come in a variety of shapes and sizes. It is far too dangerous to give out personal information in order to subscribe to such websites. It’s unusual for a functional membership to be available for $1… Isn’t $1.00 too little?
The dawn of crypto currencies, such as Bitcoin has come with novel forms of internet fraud. Since many people are not familiar with crypto currencies, fraudsters take advantage. They usually come in social media groups and pages to promote these new currencies. Like pyramid schemes, they display luxurious lifestyles promising easy money to their potential prey.
Unlike the $1 subscriptions or asking for card details, these scammers reach by offering investment opportunities. They invite members to sign up for a bitcoin mining investment, promising to share the profits later. Unfortunately, for most people, “later” becomes “never” after they give the money; since the people who receive the money quickly vanish.
Only invest in bitcoins if you are well aware of the risks involved. Having a trusted mentor to advise you on the best platform to use is safer.
Summary; Online Fraud prevention tips 2021
Online payments are the way of the future as the globe becomes more connected. The most sensible course of action is to understand how to profit from the eCommerce industry without putting our financial assets at risk. When transacting online, you should always stay attentive and cautious. Like road safety, online safety largely depends on the individual. Always shop on reputable websites that offer secure payment methods.