Ways To Protect Yourself From New Online Scams

Money doesn’t grow on trees, so we should protect it like its gold. In this era of technology, our credit card security is under intense scrutiny. And in the world wide web of unknown, it can be hard to protect yourself from new hacking techniques.

Smishing, or SMS phishing is the newest threat, pushing banks across the nation to make statements regarding consumer safety. 

Scams and hacking schemes have been on the rise. If you fall victim to one of these cyber attacks then your finances or your credit score could be sent spiraling down the drain. Hackers have taken a lot of liberties in the new millennium. Before, the biggest phishing scheme used to be e-mail, now hackers use text messaging, phone calls, and even physical devices to get unsuspecting consumers credit card and personal banking information.

Now scammers have explored skimming devices at ATMs and gas pumps that record the information loaded on your credit cards magnetic strip. Once they get this information it’s easy for scammers to make duplicate credit cards and make unauthorized purchases at your expense. Hackers have even begun exploring text message scamming called “smishing.” Smishing has been growing in popularity, with the latest case dealing with hackers claiming to be Wells Fargo employees and asking consumers to call to verify their account. Once consumers call up for verification, a voicemail plays that says that their account security has been compromised. Then they are asked for their name, social security number and account information.

These scams are everywhere; in fact, I’d be hard-pressed to find anyone who hasn’t opened up one of those fraudulent e-mails or received a phone call from an imposter bank employee. So when you apply for a credit card, think about the protection that your card offers. Some credit card issuers’ virtual credit card numbers which can be used for all your online transactions. A virtual credit card number allows you to make your purchases on the Internet with ease. The credit card issuer gives you a 16 digit number, security code and expiration date that allows you to make any purchase in a secure fashion.

Also, credit card issuers provide protection for unauthorized purchases. If you can prove that you were not at that time or place when the items were being purchased, you will not be liable for any of those purchases. Furthermore, protect yourself when roaming the web by using secure encrypted connections as opposed to regular connections. A secure connection will have a https:// rather than http:// prefix.

Credit card security should be of the utmost importance to any consumer shopping online. Sadly, it can take a backseat to the treasure-hunting that occurs when shopping online. Protecting yourself and your money should be of the utmost importance. Hackers are getting smarter as technology increases, don’t be the dumb consumer, get smart too!


Recent Posts by economics.columbia.edu