5 Things To Do When You've Been Scammed Online
Online scamming can be quite stressful for the victim. Although, many of us have learned to take extra measures to avoid this unfortunate experience, majority of us, especially non-tech savvy, still fall victim.
Every day, we work to generate new technology and ways to counter online scammers. On other side of the spectrum, online scammers are also working to generate new antics and smarter schemes to achieve their misdeeds.
The key thing to keep in mind is to put more effort at countering unfortunate online theft, being more vigilant and furthering your knowledge horizons on the subject with every chance you get, especially the non-tech savvy. The good news however is, there are existing ways to counter scams and if, it has already happened, what to do next.
1. Immediately Notify Your Bank or Credit Card Company
Most victims of email and SMS phishing end up as financial online scamming victims the most. If you ever find out that you accidently shared your financial information with unknown persons on the internet or if you feel that your financial information has been shared, immediately notify your bank or credit card company.
Sometimes, it may be too late however, if you notice a suspicious charge on your card or bank account,it is wise to red flag it by notifying your bank or credit card company as soon as possible. By doing so, it may get you back your money or avoid future deductions by the same scammers.
Also, be vigilant! Don’t share information with institutions or individuals you don’t know well, and follow your gut, if it doesn’t sit well with you, it’s probably not legit! Furthermore, notify your bank or credit card company with any suspicion you feel in your engagement online.
2. File a Report with your Local Police Station
It definitely sounds funny thinking about it. But put this in retrospect, you can report online harassment or threats, why not online scamming? Besides, a number of criminal cases including phone theft have been resolved by engaging the cyber section of the police department.
Reporting such cases also helps the police monitor cyber activity and gauge the seriousness of online cases. It is different if for example, one person is scammed by a particular online scam compared to if 100 people fall victim to that particular scam.
A police report from the cyber section of your police department also adds strength to the matter when reporting the issue to your Credit Card Company or bank.
3. Add More Security To Your Card or Bank Account
If you have been luck to not have been scammed, it is god to add extra measures to ensure it never happens. Counter measures such as using two-step verification processes to authorize payments goes all the way. Many banks offer this feature toothier card holders, so for example, even if your legitimate monthly online bill is due, a request will still be sent to your mobile phone for further authorization, before money is debited form your account or card.
For scam victims, filing a fraud victim statement with major credit bureaus puts all the relevant persons on alert. Thus, this process adds that two-step verification stage to your credit card or bank account. For example, if a credit company wants to authorize payment, and pulls up your file – it will have a note instructing them to call you before releasing funds.
The steps above however, don’t guarantee 100% protection but at least works as a counter measure and raises eyebrows to those that pay attention. Think of the measure as a skier who goes to the back country with a backpack with an air bag system, an Avalung and other avalanche safety equipment. In case of an emergency, they provide life-saving measures but do not guarantee survival.
4. Freeze Access To Your Credit Report
Unfortunately, if the scam you fall victim is to great heights that scammers have access to your full credit information, it is wise to start monitoring you credit score as well as putting a freeze on access of your credit report.
This action helps to stop the scammer from identity theft, should they wish to go on this route. This means that they will not be able to financially gain either by opening new accounts requesting a loan or refinancing through your identity. This process will normally get the victim a PIN or password that is required to access the credit report. The scammers will not have this pin.
5. Invest on Anti-Malware Software
Online scamming incorporates a great deal of tech maneuvers. Email phishing can send messages that directly attack your computer and thus, leaving you under threat even after you’ve closed the email page.
Invest on good anti-malware software that counters phishing or most suspicious activities. And if you have a feeling that your computer has been attacked by such malicious programs, shut down all your programs and run a thorough scan to ensure no personal information has been leaked.
It is also good practice to have at least two anti-malware programs in your computer that work by supplementing each other. Although some malware programs are pricy, knowing how to mix- and match the right ones is helpful.
Go for a paid for program that offers the features you are looking for and supplement the software with a free-one which strongly boasts that one particular feature that appeals to you. Sure, these are some that slow down your activities but proper research and investment on the right software goes all the way. And at the end of the day, it provides valuable protection.
The above to-do list doesn’t end there. There are quite a number of solutions and counter-measures that exist to fight this unfortunate wave of online scamming theft. Forgetting the line by line guidelines on how to counter or go about online scammers, always be alert online. Look out for inconsistencies, what doesn’t sit well – avoid immediately. Develop your own screening standards and you are guaranteed to be safe online.
Read More News: