Being on-line is your business! It allows us, particularly during this lengthy quarantine period, to explore the outside world without necessarily being there! But with that surfing option in place, and many of us are prone, comes the increasing possibiity getting victimized by scams.
Yes, you heard me right! And, admit it, we all had our share of scams – from spamming text messages asking for money, moonlighting app or getting one of those Nigerian e-mails requesting for personal banking information.
Bigger modus boldly conduct themseleves like humanitarian organizations soliciting for outright charitable donations. It is a recurring affair with on-line thieves – and it is only a matter of time before somebody gets to your account for good.
But, not to worry, there are red flags to spot these lingering digital born scams from a mile away. You just have to be more sensing when it comes to details.
1.) Text Scams. TEXT or SMS designed scams can be very crative. It can range from someone sending an emergency text, a person asking for food support or a person or group seeking financial assistance for a sickly relative. All aimed at soliciting money from the usual suspects – which is you! If the solicitation comes a regular seven digita number, and from a phone number not found in your directory, then it is a red flag for text fraud. People fall for such scams out of mercy – but then again why would anyone send an SOS to you on the first place, and from a total stranger.
2.) E-Mail Scams. E-mail designed scams are no different from text messages. But to be more appealing to the visual, this can range from an edited post with a religious or charitable theme / worse bearing photos of Jesus Christ or someone dying, targetting user empathy to slicite money. Filipinos would fall for it easily, since edited visual patterns after legitimate charitable advertisements. While it is not easy spotting a fake advert, it is wise to look at e-mail address where it originated of if it is asking for your bank account details. If it is not a familiar e-mail or asking for money do not even bother open it or reply to its immediate claim.
3.) On-line Phising: With popularity on on-line shopping, it can be prone as well to fraudulent scams. The worst of its kind, targetting those who frequently shop on-line, are copycat on-line shopping webistes. These .com or .net cloaked shopping sites would immitate the websites of banks, popular shopping sites to fool people into submitting their bank account details – along with username and password. Banks of financial sites that are legitimate will never ask for these personal information from its clients. An easy way to get around is compare fraudulent website with official bank or shopping sites for validation.
4.) Link for scams: With ECQ financial shifting on-line transactions, links have become useful for people seeking short cuts to a particular website they want to access. Shopping, media, self help and humanitarian websites have become victims of malicious links. It targets business entities, working individuals with intrusive malwares designed to corrupt/distabilize data banks, stealing personal bank records from your personal computers. Random links from unknown sources should simply be deleted from your trash bin folder immediately.
5.) Social media scams: Social media sites like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter have become prone to copycat attacks. It happens when hackers copy your account with a fictitious social media account. Facebook, Twitter and Instagram have reported such breach from citizens used for financial solicitations, phising scams and attacking other people with your profile. This can be avoided by limiting publishing personal items like family photos, particularly ID photos that can be downloaded or printed, and details like your phone number, home and business address or even your birthday. These items are common identity requirements used to open things like savings account, billing accounts and social security details.
While its challenging getting around faudulent scams on-line, which you do not see first hand, Financial Technology sites like GCash can help you get around this fraudulent spectacle. GCash, which is powered by telco Globe, is designed for consumers on ECQ. And it can be used with a designated mobile application you can download (for free) on your Android or Apple smart devices.
The GCash mobile app registers with your designated mobile phone number (Globe, TM, Smart or Sun). Regulated by the Central Bank of the Philippines, GCash lets you receive, send and pay for utilities without using cash. GCash is designed like a debit mobile application that can be used to pay for over the counter purchases and on-line debite payments for things like on-line retail shopping, deliveries and paying for domestic utilities (electricity, water and subscription payments (phone bills, netflix, HBO GO, insurance and health cards).
Financial transaction, be it through digital payment or scanned QR Code set billings, is monitored real time. Transactions are primarily exact and cashless – no physcial money exchanges. GCash app includes a detailed transaction leger that monitors every monetary transaction coming in or going out of your account. GCash’s Send Money feature, for example, would send real time SMS the sender and recipient (of money) transaction details citing time, amount transacted, and (for purchases) where payment was specifically rendered.
GCash’s, whose general monetary transactions are free from nasty hidden miscellaneous charges banks or financial institutions imposed on consumers, protects consumers similarly from phising or questionable financial transactions. Transaction includes ATM card you can link with your app, for traditional cash withdrawals. In cases of phone theft, user can simply call GCash 24/7 hotline to immediately (verify) block app and ATM card. In which case, since app is encrypted to your designated mobile phone number, you can request for a new SIM card to continue using registered GCash application.
At any rate, GCash app will never e-mail or text app’s account holders for their username and password or, more importantly, any person’s bank details. Any attempt from third party to secure these personal documents are signs of red flags or fraud!