Millions of people become victims of cybercrime each year. FTC’s report says that 2.2 million of the 4.7 million complaints received that year were related to fraud. This resulted in a $3.3 billion deficit, which is $1.5 billion more compared to the previous year.
Consider this before you say, "It won’t happen to me." Cybercrime is not just for the elderly, naive, or helpless. Most victims are between the ages of 20 and 40. Scammers prey on people of all ages, backgrounds, and income levels.
They say precaution is better than cure and this also holds true when it comes to staying safe from online frauds. So, let us see how to stay protected and what to do if you become a victim:
Learn about the type of scams out there to stay safe. Here are three sorts of frauds to be aware of:
For instance, you could be reached out by a private number claiming they are from Spectrum, and they could ask for your bank details. Unless they are calling from Spectrum customer service 866 number, do not believe them. Also, Spectrum is a well-known brand. It never asks customers for sensitive info on the phone.
Only shop from encrypted websites. When buying something, make sure the website uses secure technologies. The URL must begin with HTTPS rather than HTTP. A padlock icon will appear in your web browser to indicate that the site is encrypted. This does not imply that the site is secure, but it does indicate that it is safer than others.
Change your password if you suspect your account has been compromised.
Choose a strong password by including numbers and special characters. To add additional security to your accounts, you can always configure two-factor or multi-factor authentication
Some consumers lose hope completely, believing that they would never get their money back after being cheated. While getting your money back after being ripped off online is tough, there are several possibilities.
PayPal Buyer Protection, for example, can cover you if you ordered goods from an e-commerce retail outlet using your PayPal account and it has not been delivered. There are, however, limitations to what this can accomplish. You will not be protected by PayPal Buyer Protection if a scammer sets up a convincing clone of the PayPal payment form and just retrieved your bank credentials. Always keep this in mind when shopping online.
If you believe you have been charged incorrectly, contact your bank or credit card company right away. Let them know what happened so they can take the appropriate steps to safeguard your finances in the future.
Your bank has the authority to place a hold on your account, debit card, and checks. Your credit card provider can put a hold on your account. Many financial institutions now provide fraud protection, which covers charges incurred without your permission, but you must report the fraud immediately.
The Better Business Bureau is a place where you can report e-commerce fraud and file complaints about online purchasing fraud. For those who shop online, the BBB offers consumer protection. Click the hamburger icon in the top-right corner of the site. Click on the "BBB Scam Tracker” from the menu. And then hit the red button at the top saying "Report a scam."
On this page, you will see different fields to fill out about the fraud, the company that scammed you, and the victim, which is you. Then, you will also see a description area where you may describe what happened.
File a complaint with your local police station about the internet scam you encountered. It will be beneficial for the local authorities to be aware that a scammer is targeting victims in a certain region.
Raise your game to the state level if the problem is severe. To file a complaint, go to the State Consumer Protection Office's website, identify your state, and fill out the form.
Anyone can become a target of online fraud, even if you are very careful. It has cost customers billions of dollars so far. Therefore, you must protect yourself by being proactive and carefully inspecting each website you browse.
In the Internet world, there is no guarantee of safety, and the best defence is staying alert. To protect your online security, follow the measures outlined above. Best of luck!