The online transaction has changed the way people shop today. Whether using banking applications or our debit and credit cards, cash purchases have decreased comparatively and our dependence on these online payment gateways has increased. But with this, every year, millions of consumers fall victim to cybercrime.
This has also exposed us to the risk of cyber theft and fraud since many users are not privy to the safety precautions one should keep in mind while making such transactions.
As online frauds are on a historic rise these days, here are some tips to remember before making online transactions.
Things to remember before making an online transactions
1. Use OTP instead of passwords or a 3D pin
If you want to secure every transaction, OTP is the preferred choice of payment instead of passwords or a 3D pin. OTPs are valid for a very short duration from the time the payment processing starts. You should also remember to never share the OTP with anyone. No legitimate bank will ever call a client for an OTP, so it is very important to never fall for such fraudulent calls.
2. Avoid cashless transactions from untrustworthy portals
To keep yourself safe from the possibility of being defrauded, check the site or portal whether it’s reputed and trustworthy. Run a background check of the website and critically review their website.
3. Too new to trust
In case the business is new, you won’t be able to find a track record. This is absolutely a red flag. They are likely one of those organisations that shut down once they have gotten enough orders and then set up a new name and new domain all over again.
4. Too good to be true
Many fake e-commerce sites or portals promote offers that are just too good to be true. They give out bumper discounts and it’s not a promo season.
For example, If you are shopping for a laptop or a phone that’s within the range of Rs 70,000 to Rs 80,000 and you come across an e-commerce site that boasts the low price of Rs 15,000, then that’s a too-good-to-be-true offer.
5. Check the contact details
Before you make your online payment, you should check the contact details of the website that you are shopping on. As a rule of thumb, all businesses have their contact details- especially their phone number, e-mail address, and address on the “Contact” page on their site. Whether the retail store is genuine or fake, you can use the information to confirm.
But how? You cannot drive miles away to confirm their office address, but you can look up their phone number in the reverse phone lookup directory to check their location, ascertain the owner of the phone number and cross-check the information you have found with what you see on their contact page.
Even if there is a match, it doesn’t guarantee the website is genuine since the scammer might have copied the exact information from the real website. You know a website is not credible if the information does not match.
Also, make sure to watch other signs of a scam site. Remember to look for red flags like bad grammar or misspelled words.
6. Lock your phone/ wallet
Digital wallets are convenient but not always safe. To secure it, the first move is to lock your phone with a password, swipe code, or biometric authentication. Activate the security code of your wallet or account so that no one can use it without your knowledge. The last move is particularly powerful- To access your phone, you need to press your finger against the screen or maybe your phone has to recognize your face before it unlocks. With this kind of protection, it becomes difficult for thieves to unlock your phone.
If you are using a password, make sure it is difficult to decode and contains a mix of letters, numbers, and symbols. The more difficult the password, the more difficult it is for the hacker to crack.
The use of digital mode for monetary transactions can save users time and money, but they should take extra precautions to ensure their safety. In this way, fraud and theft can be prevented.
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