Wiring money, using NFC, paying for stuff on Instagram — while these options are super convenient, they also leave your e-wallet vulnerable to a digital scam. We’ll share a few tips on how to protect your money transfers.
Guard Your Pocket
A payment gateway isn’t just a bleeping device with buttons that you run your bank card through at a grocery store.
It’s also a method to transfer your money online, be it ordering a summer dress from Boohoo, paying for a plumber’s service on Helpr, or wiring money to your parents.
Although most online transferring is well-protected, we have some exceptions like Venmo, the security of which has been questioned. So, how can the scammers target you?
There are a few ways:
- Hacking. You may think that you’ve just contacted a legit e-merchant and provide them with your personal details: phone number, e-mail, etc. Knowing these, they can do some bruteforce hacking, intercept your transfers and guess a security answer.
- Phishing. A fake web page may present itself as a well-known e-store like Amazon. In reality, after you type in your credentials — bank card info, PIN — scammers will drain your account.
- Pseudo-charity. A more passive way to nick your pennies is via begging money for nonexistent charity. As an extra side effect scammers will get your contact info.
- Fake friends. Once your contact info is in their hands, they can learn a lot about your family, work, or school. At some point, you can receive an email from one of your ‘acquaintances’ asking to borrow some money “cause it’s an emergency”.
This is the tip of the iceberg, of course: scammers regularly update their tactics. So, how can you protect your money transfers, sensitive data, and personal life?
More Money, Fewer Problems
To avoid all this, make sure that the transfer service of your choice offers:
- Encryption. It must offer complex encryption, so your sensitive data is shielded with a few layers of virtually unhackable algorithms.
- Authentication. Two-factor authentication is a great way to prevent identity theft. Even if a scammer knows your passwords, they won’t have your physical device to confirm that it’s ‘you” who wants to deposit all your life savings in some shady bitcoin wallet.
- Prevention. All legit merchants follow the AML and KYC policies. This includes databases, AI algorithms, security questions, expirable SMS codes, and other methods to prove that it’s really you.
- ACH. Sometimes it’s best to stick to a regular banking transaction, as in America they are protected by the Automated Clearing House agency.
And don’t forget to pay attention. Before you type in your credentials online, make sure it’s the real e-store or website and not its well-designed clone. Check the URL-link first — if it has anything added to it apart from the laconic.com address— it can be phony.
As long as you follow our recommendations, you won’t become a fraudster’s prey. Just remember: it’s okay to be a bit conservative when handling money. So, if a new and hip money-transfer app skips 2-step authentication — pass on it.
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