How can I protect myself from online fraud?
Whilst there is no silver bullet, there are certainly steps you can take to protect yourself online. Below are some tips:
- Stay alert and remember that scams exist. Whenever you’re dealing with someone who has approached you online, always consider that it could be a scam. If in doubt, do some online research to find out more about them or the business they represent.
- Never send money or give your personal details to someone you have only met online, or don’t completely trust.
- Don’t accept contact requests on social media from people you don’t know and be careful how much personal information you share online. Scammers may use your personal information and photos to steal your identity or gather information about you, so their approach seems more familiar or genuine.
- Do not open suspicious texts, pop-up windows or emails. Be especially cautious when the sender has misspelt your name, asks for your banking details or promises you money. If it’s a company you already deal with, look up their contact information online and call them to check whether the message you received was legitimate.
- Be vigilant when shopping online. Always use shopping sites you know and trust. Be extremely wary of offers that seem ‘too good to be true’, because they probably are, and it’s safer to stay away.
- Protect your personal information. Shred utility bills or other documents that contain your personal details or pin numbers before throwing them away.
Choose strong passwords for your computers, mobile devices, and every online account. Get tips on setting a secure Internet Banking password here.