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5 ways to protect yourself from online scammers

  • July 15 2020
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5 ways to protect yourself from online scammers

By Cameron Micallef
July 15 2020

As consumers’ preferences change from traditional retail to online shopping, they are being advised to keep an eye out for potential scams.

5 Ways to protect yourself from online scammers

5 ways to protect yourself from online scammers

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  • July 15 2020
  • Share

As consumers’ preferences change from traditional retail to online shopping, they are being advised to keep an eye out for potential scams.

5 Ways to protect yourself from online scammers

A study released by Mastercard showed that since the pandemic began, nearly half (46 per cent) of respondents in Asia Pacific said they have been using cash less often, while two-thirds of Latin American consumers said they have been using cash less or not at all. 

In Europe, which already had the largest adoption of contactless payments of any region, 64 percent said tap-and-pay is now their preferred way to pay in-store.

As local restrictions continue to change, online shopping remains part of our new normal. Mastercard research showed that just under three-quarters (71 per cent) of Aussies believe contactless payments are here to stay, with almost six out of 10 globally believing digital payments will become a permanent part of our lives.

With more and more transactions taking place online, it’s never been more important to stay aware of potential online payment fraud. Any financial crisis, especially one as pronounced as that triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic, can put businesses and consumers at heightened risk of fraud.

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Mastercard’s five tips to avoid getting scammed:

1. Research the seller

When it comes to spending online, do some quick desktop research to ensure that you are dealing with a trusted and reliable business. Verify company details and check for feedback from other customers – if they’re unsafe, it’s likely someone else has experienced this.

2. Be alert

Be aware of unexpected emails from government agencies (such as the ATO) or health authorities requesting personal information. Don’t click on links or attachments from unknown sources, pop-ups or untrusted websites as this may contain malware, intended to damage devices and steal data. These simple precautions will help you spot any suspicious activity, before it’s too late. Mastercard is working with banks and merchants to deploy technologies that detect malware, use of stolen credentials and identity theft. 

3. Knowledge is power

When going to pay, only enter your details into a secure web page. You can spot this from the “https://” at the beginning of the address bar and/or a picture of a locked padlock in the browser. When shopping online, your bank may prompt you to enter a one-time code, via SMS, to confirm that it is really you making an online payment. 

4. Make sure you’re protected

In the event that your payment details are compromised, make sure you’re protected by industry policies. Notify your bank as soon as you notice an unauthorised transaction. 

5. Store your data securely

From passwords to payment and shipping information, it can be hard to remember everything. To best protect yourself and avoid potential information breaches, put pen to paper.

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About the author

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Cameron is a journalist for Momentum Media's nestegg and Smart Property Investment. He enjoys giving Aussies practical financial tips and tricks to help grow their wealth and achieve financial independence. As a self-confessed finance nerd, Cameron enjoys chatting with industry experts and commentators to leverage their insights to grow your portfolio.

About the author

Cameron is a journalist for Momentum Media's nestegg and Smart Property Investment. He enjoys giving Aussies practical financial tips and tricks to help grow their wealth and achieve financial independence. As a self-confessed finance nerd, Cameron enjoys chatting with industry experts and commentators to leverage their insights to grow your portfolio.

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