Federal Law tries to keep fraudsters from operating online. It is not easy because where there is money there is always temptation. You must ensure you only deal with reputable lenders who can demonstrate their commitment to service, confidentiality and integrity.
You might think that this is easier said than done. Well if you avoid the scenarios described below you will be well on the way to doing that. It goes without saying that you should avoid lenders who are neither accredited nor licensed. Anyone can purchase a URL and attempt to attract customers. It is easy to write attract text and produce wonderful offers. They must be real. You do not want to be supplying personal details of any kind to a lender whose motives might be identity theft. The Better Business Bureau and the Federal Trade Commissions’ Internet Crime Division are there to support you but it is far better not to fall prey to an unscrupulous body in the first place.
Never in Advance
You should never deal with anyone that wants any money in advance. Good lenders will explain the detail of their loans, the interest rate applicable and any fees which will be applied to the total and repaid in installments over the term of the loan. If you want to change an existing loan don’t drop your standards out of desperation to get approval. Do your research on the lender.
If you have any concerns then report them to a body that can help and verify that you are not the subject of a potential scam.
Free offers for a trial period are obviously attractive with perhaps a minimal charge for a service for which you will provide card details. You should always be certain that there is no small print which allows the company making the offer to debit your card even if you think you have not signed up after the free trial finishes; small print can be hidden very subtly by the use of color with little contrast.
You can be a risk on public, fake Wi-Fi areas and you should avoid providing any personal details if you have any doubts at all. It is increasingly common for fraudsters to ‘copy’ as closely as possible, yet not completely, legitimate websites like AT&T so that they look plausible. If you need to log on while travelling then a credit card gift card is cheap and you can use it for Wi-Fi access rather than your regular card; you are only risking a few dollars.
You should be cautious if you see buttons requiring a click for more information. If you receive a tweet from someone you don’t know never respond because in every likelihood it is an attempt to gather information for dubious reasons.
If your computer becomes infected you should be cautious about responding to offers of help that you cannot verify. It could be an attempt to insert software to access passwords and private financial details. Never open any links that you have the slightest doubts about.
You should never respond to any requests from your bank or credit card company for passwords or pin numbers. They would never ask for them. It’s a clever scam. Similarly everyone would like to help worthy causes but it is important not to forget security because there are criminals that want to exploit that human feeling. Be sure a charity request is not an elaborate scam.
There are many ways to avoid finance fraud; it is more common than you might think. The lesson is to deal with reputable companies using a secure computer. Don’t consider any company that does not back up its offers with a proper means of making contact with its support staff.