Today’s fraudsters are cunning and use the latest technology to take advantage of unwitting individuals trying to make the most of opportunities presented to them. Don’t be fooled by get rich quick schemes or duped by scammers trying to get into your bank account or gain access to your credit information. See this post on avoiding online business scams. Remember – whenever something seems too good to be true, that’s most likely the case! Below is a list of reminders to stay safe while browsing the Internet or running errands throughout your day. Please check back periodically to see updates to the list.
CLOUD COMPUTING – it’s here to stay and can either help or hurt you. Regardless of whether you subscribe to “cloud storage” through a specific provider, you engage in cloud computing every time you use the Internet. All types of information are stored on servers throughout the world, which require constant communication with one another. Services like DropBox, SharePoint and others offer tremendous advantages by allowing you to access information from anywhere on any computer or mobile device. BUT, all that precious information is subject to hackers and can lead to tremendous problems if your personal, non-public information lands in the hands of unauthorized individuals. Enjoy the cloud perks, but be aware that the more personally identifying information you upload, you are increasing your risk of identity theft or other issues in the event of a technological breach.
CREDIT CARD SKIMMING – we’ve talked about this before, but you just can’t be TOO careful! Read the article on skimming, paying special attention to the link on recognizing skimming devices. It’s difficult to tell when you’re being tricked at times, so be vigilant each time you use your debit or credit card.
CARD PROTECTION BASICS – we’ve all seen the rubber pads in fast food restaurants and even drive-thru windows. Just pass your card over the pad, and VOILA! – your bill is paid and you’re good to go. What you may not realize, however, is that crooks can buy the same technology to carry in their purses, satchels, or even their clothing pockets and use them by rubbing against or near you to capture your credit card information. In that case, VOILA! – you’ve just been robbed! The linked article covers basic steps to avoid credit card fraud, including multiple swipes. If you see that your card has been swiped multiple times, question why. Review your bank activity immediately and file the appropriate report or dispute. If your restaurant server holds your card for an unusually long time, ask if there was a problem, and review your account activity immediately to safeguard against fraud. Consider paying with a credit card versus a debit card, and you may want to use pre-paid cards where only you control how much money is available at any given time.