True or False – Challenging the Myths of Fraud
For all the sophistication of modern fraudsters, by and large, fraud works because of two main human frailties; we are trusting and generally lazy by nature. Carelessness, good will, negligence and lack of knowledge of every complex scam that is out there makes our information and data vulnerable. Changing your passwords every 60-90 days is work and requires some level of organization to maintain them. Let’s face it, how many of us have the same password for our email as we do for our bank account? Sometimes we make it easy for the criminals.
So, for this week’s blog, we wanted to try something a little different and pose a series of true or false questions to find out how much our you really know about fraud.
- True or false – Public Wi-Fi is safe and provides a secure platform for carrying out financial transactions.
False! Unless you have encrypted your data or work through a VPN, it’s not safe to transmit anything through public access Wi-Fi. Your data, including payment data, can be intercepted and captured. Even data that seems harmless or of little to no value can be used to infiltrate your device and get at more meaningful information. And though we all hear the little guy in the back of our heads tell us we are not safe on public Wi-Fi 68% still use them regularly.
- True or false – Your bank is entitled to ask for your PIN and it is safe to give it to them
False! If anyone asks for your PIN, they have only one intention in mind – misusing your card. This may also apply to a family member if they are going shopping, especially a teenager. Always be wary when handing out your PIN. It is designed to add a layer of security to help keep you safe. Why have a lock on the door and then hand out the keys?
- True or false – It’s only email! There’s nothing in my Hotmail account that a fraudster could want
False! Believe it or not, there is a lot that fraudsters can get from hacking your personal email account. Getting access to your email could mean access to your social media accounts, Amazon account or even your bank account. Everything you do online these days asks for your email address, it’s sort of like a digital drivers license with a history of use and viability that criminals can use to bust through, look legitimate, and compromise your accounts. Keep your personal email accounts safe and change your password regularly. (Experts say changing your password every 90 days or so should be the minimum for safety.)
- True or false – If a company has a professional looking website, it will be legit
False! It is remarkably easy to set up a professional looking website with a professional looking payment system. So keep your wits about you. Check for grammar errors and if there is no contact information, it could be a fake. And, if they are offering deals that are too good to be true then, they are too good to be true. In addition, don’t trust unsolicited emails even if they are from your bank or an official looking vendor like PayPal. It’s just as easy to set up phony emails to get you to click or call and give personal information as it is to set up a fake website. Why does the Price of Nigeria still send out emails asking for help bringing millions into the country? Because the scam still works.
- True or false – I trust my friend so I should trust what they share on Facebook
False! Facebook is a scammers’ paradise for the unaware. Fake offers, phishing scams and plenty of criminals are trying to get your personal details from you. Even if it’s been shared by a friend, that’s no reason to trust a link or page. Your friend might have been hacked or they might just not be as careful as they should be.
The amount of people who would believe even just one of these statements is quite astounding. And when people aren’t fraud aware, they are leaving themselves, and others open to attack. Don’t be a victim of scam.
Be it business security or personal data integrity, people working together with fraud experts to beat fraud with the right fraud prevention solution, assembling the information you need to report and unmask fraudsters is the real tried and true method.