5 Tips on Avoiding Fraud with Better Financial Awareness

Every day, countless people around the globe fall victim to fraud. Identity theft, data breaches, online scams, and other financial frauds have unfortunately become quite mainstream. While new and improved technology has made things easier for consumers, it has also opened doors for fraudsters to design new ways to penetrate people’s financial details and rob them.

The fraud prevention authorities keep on working towards building a fraud-proof system, but they still haven’t been able to completely eradicate the scam mafia and frauds. To be fair to them, complete prevention doesn’t seem practically possible considering the growing reliance on money in today’s world.

However, even under these circumstances, better financial awareness and a sense of responsibility can protect people from becoming victims of fraud.

Following are some essential tips to avoid fraud and practice financial awareness:

1.     Keep your financial information to yourself.

‘Phishing’ is a very common scam where fraudsters contact you via email or text claiming they are some retailers or government agencies and try to extract financial details from you. No matter what happens, you must not give out your sensitive financial information to anyone or any organization you don’t know. Your bank or a genuine credit card company will never contact you in this manner and ask for your information.

2.     Don’t reveal your Social Security number.

One of the most crucial and yet less discussed tips to avoid fraud is this. A lot of people get emails or texts asking for their Social Security number for whatever pretended reasons. Some websites even ask you to enter that information. Don’t do it. These are mostly scams. An effective financial awareness involves the understanding of what information is confidential and what is the right place to use it.

3.     Shred your ATM receipts.

One common mistake people do that puts them at risk of fraud is that they don’t shred their ATM receipts. Some people don’t even take the receipt out and some only discard it on the floor at the same ATM. Fraudsters can use these discarded receipts to carry out identity theft or account fraud.

4.     Create strong passwords and change them frequently.

“12345” or “fluffy” is not going to do anymore. Today, when people are required to set passwords on a lot of websites and accounts, they usually go for a simple password and use the same everywhere.  Cracking a simple password has become a lot easier and even the repeated passwords are easy to extract. Therefore, one important thing that shows financial awareness is keeping strong passwords that include a combination of letters, numbers, and special characters. Try to keep different passwords everywhere and also, change them often. This can be considered as one of the basic tips to avoid fraud.

5.     Double-check the authenticity of an online shopping website.

Online shopping has become prevalent. Massive traffic on these websites has allowed scams to take advantage of it. There are a lot of fake shopping websites. Always opt for a reliable and well-established shopping website and before entering your personal information, check if the website is legit. No list of effective tips to avoid fraud can be completed without this point.

Scams will continue to operate and fraud will continue to affect people. But, you can still use your financial awareness to protect yourself. The above-mentioned tips to avoid fraud are surely going to help you.