Five ways to stop online criminals from ever stealing your personal or financial details

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Over the last few years, technology has evolved so much that not only can we access our bank accounts and online services with the simple click of a button, but we also have full control of our finances and investments.

Unfortunately, cybercriminals are matching the pace of this rapidly developing technology and creating even more sophisticated and legitimate looking scams designed to strip bank accounts and steal personal and financial information from unsuspecting victims.

To help keep you and your finances safe, XTB.com has identified the most common forms of fraud methods being used by criminals right now and shared five ways to never be duped.

Most common forms of online fraud

Vishing

Sometimes fraudsters may impersonate employees of various services on the phone. They mimic employees of known and popular companies and use their authority to make calls where they try to extort login, password, or debit/credit card data.

Under the pretext of additional authorization, data update or system malfunction, they will often ask for personal information and try to persuade users to install apps like AnyDesk or TeamViewer, which gives scammers access to their phone or computer, letting them steal data or money.

Never give anyone your password to trading, financial, or any other accounts.

Make sure you know how to spot a scam online
Make sure you know how to spot a scam online

phishing

This is when scammers create fake internet websites or emails closely resembling those from banks or investing companies. Often, they will use logos and copy the graphic layout of messages. Under the pretext of updating the data, authorization or confirming the transfer, scammers will suggest logging in to such fake websites.

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Never open suspicious links and attachments from unknown sources.

smishing

Using this method, cybercriminals send an SMS in which they inform, for example, about a new transaction on your account and the need to confirm it by going into the link, which leads to a fake website.

Once a user logs into the fake website, scammers steal their login and password, granting them access to real accounts. To extort such data, scammers can also give different reasons, like deactivation of service or IQ tests.

Scammers even impersonate government and national institutions, creating a fake SMS informing about the dangers of, for instance, the vaccination program.

How to protect your personal and financial details from fraudsters

be reasonable

Almost everyone with an active email address will have probably received emails from unknown sources at some point. While it may be tempting – never open email attachments from unknown sources, this also includes making sure that you don’t click on any suspicious links or banners.

be private

Regardless of who you think is trustworthy or not, you should never share your login information or devices with anyone – create strong passwords and don’t use the same details for more than one account.

be independent

While out and about, it’s easy to connect to public Wi-Fi or use public devices in places such as hotels and internet cafes without giving it a second thought, however, you should be extra careful when logging into any sensitive accounts.

There are a number of ways you can stay up to date with the latest stories from the Daily Record.

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You can join the conversation on our Money Saving Scotland Facebook group for money-saving tips, benefits news, consumer help and advice, plus the latest shopping deals.

Sign up to our Record Money newsletter to get the top stories sent straight to your inbox every Tuesday and Friday – you can sign up here.

You can also follow our Twitter account @Recordmoney_ for regular updates throughout the day.

be on time

An easy way to avoid being scammed is always updating your devices and software to the newest version and remembering to use antivirus protection.

be aware

One of the best things you can do to evade a scam is gain more knowledge about the methods used by cybercriminals so that you can identify them should the situation arise.

For more information about keeping your finances safe online, visit the XTB website here.

Get the latest money-saving and benefits news sent straight to your inbox. Sign up to our weekly Money newsletter here.



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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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