It’s important that you think about how fraud could impact you and your family. You’ve likely heard about data breaches on everything from Facebook to even a credit reporting bureau. It seems as if nothing is safe anymore. But, there are ways to protect yourself against fraud which we’ll go over now.
Learn about the Most Common Scams
There are common scams that happen and have been happening for years. If you stay aware of them, you can avoid them. Look at sites like Scambusters.org for more information on common scams and frauds happening right now. Spread the word about frauds that you know about, so that you can help family and friends avoid scams and fraud too.
If You Get Scammed Report It
It can be embarrassing to fall for a scam, but it’s imperative that you report it if it happens. This is the only way that you can ensure that it doesn’t happen again and that the perpetrators are caught.
Keep Your Information Confidential
Don’t give out your social security number to just anyone. If you want to have a part-time gig and you’re in the USA, get an EIN number free from the IRS. EIN stands for “employer identification number” but as a freelancer, you can get one so that you don’t have to give out your social security number.
Open a PayPal Account
If you like to buy things online with credit, your best bet is to get a PayPal account that is tied to your bank or your credit cards. In this way, you only need to give out one number whenever you want to buy something – or use your email address for that account. PayPal works with buyers very easily to help prevent fraudulent transactions too. It’s much safer than using your bank’s debit card for online purchases.
Change Your Passwords and PINs Often
About every 90 days, you should change your passwords and PINs. You should also ensure that they are hard without words, dates, phrases, or anything that can easily be hacked or guessed.
Monitor Your Credit
Using CreditKarma.com you can monitor your credit. You can even pay for alerts, and control who has access to your information and when. It’s a great way to ensure that no one else is using your credit to buy stuff.
Balance Your Accounts Monthly
Every single month, take the time to balance each checking or savings account that you have. Look at your statements very carefully, ensuring that you can match a receipt with a transaction and that you know what transactions were made. Report fishy transactions immediately.
Remember, if it feels or seems too good to be true, it probably is a fraud and a scam. Never feel pressured to pay for something right now, never buy things you weren’t looking to buy from a door-to-door salesperson, and research every transaction before making it so that you can be sure it’s on the up and up. Due diligence pays off when it comes to scammers, as they don’t want to deal with people who ask too many questions.