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Follow these two simple rules to prevent online scammers from stealing your money

by , 26 January 2016

With the growth of the Internet over the past decade or so, we conduct so much of our lives online.

Many of our online activities involve money. Think about banking. You don't need to receive a statement via post, you can view it online. You don't need to visit the bank to transfer money, you can do it online.

But with this revolution comes the risk of losing your money to scammers. While the risk is real, you can help prevent yourself from falling victim by sticking to two simple rules…

Don’t let scammers steal your money

Earlier today, Fin24 published a story about Jacques Nel. Mr Nel was the unfortunate victim to online scammers who ended up defrauding him of R4,000. This R4,000 was his first pay cheque in a year and a half.

Mr Nel was duped by a phishing scam. He received an email that looked like it was from his bank. Unfortunately it wasn’t.

Scammers lured Mr Nel into divulging key information about his bank account by following a link contained in an email he received. This led to the fraudsters stealing R4,000 from his bank account.

How to beat the phishing scammers

As Wikipedia explains, phishing is an “attempt to acquire sensitive information, such as usernames, passwords and credit card details… often for malicious reasons”.

Scammers send emails out that look like they come from banks and other sources that you trust. But on closer inspection, these email aren’t legit. You can often spot this by checking the address the email came from.

The emails lure unsuspecting recipients to divulge information that the scammers then use to their own gains.

There are two golden rules that you should never forget when it comes to receiving emails likes this:

  1. Never divulge your password or pin to anyone.
  2. Don’t click on the links included in emails, especially when it’s about your banking or other sensitive information.

Your bank will never ask you for your full password and pin. When logging on or dealing over the phone, they may ask for specific parts of a password or pin, for instance, the third and fifth character.

It’s better to be suspicious than trusting with emails like this. If you don’t treat them with caution, you could end up paying the price by divulging sensitive information to a scammer.

So there you have it. Why you should follow these two simple rules to prevent online scammers from stealing your money.

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Follow these two simple rules to prevent online scammers from stealing your money
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