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The only tips you need to avoid financial fraud

The only tips you need to avoid financial fraud

As adults, our financial future depends on the way we conduct our money matters from the moment we start to make our own money. When it comes to your hard-earned money, complacency and external dependencies can often impact your financial health. Never take anyone’s word for it, practice instead the habit of educating yourself on financial shenanigans. Making sense of how to best protect your assets and savings is essentially the art of positive money management.

Financial scams and online fraud transactions are rampant now with the accelerated rise of digital adoption in India. While the possibility of a scam may be unnerving, it is not impossible to tackle it on your own. Acquainting yourself with the types of financial frauds and taking pre-emptive measures will help keep your finances safe over the long term.  

Safeguard your personal information

With a large portion of day-to-day activities now happening online, the digital platforms we use can access a bulk of our personal information. This means every digital move you make has close connections with your User IDs, passwords, and PIN numbers. In modern times, this is the way to access money and assets from your banks and investments. The best ways to avoid financial scams that capitalize on this information are to never share these details with anyone as well as update these numbers periodically.

It is also important to understand that financial institutions, banks, or otherwise never request sensitive information such as PINs, passwords, or OTPs among others, to assist you in any matter. If you are being asked to reveal such information, it may be related to fraudulent activity. You must also use unique and difficult-to-guess passwords for added security.

Know how common scams work 

When it comes to financial scams, awareness is key. You must acquaint yourself with the types of financial scams and the ways in which they are typically perpetrated for easy financial fraud detection. Common scams like phishing always work in a similar way. You get forwarded either an email posing to have come from a source you trust or a payment link. In trying to confirm the details these communications ask for or simply clicking the link you can end up enabling a stripping of your associated bank account of your hard-earned money.

Remember, no legitimate institution will forward emails from a public domain with an address that ends with ‘@gmail.com/’. If the mail comes to you from an address, which isn’t affiliated with the sender, it’s almost certainly a scam.

Avoid allowing remote access to your systems

Another important way to ensure financial fraud prevention is to be wary of any caller that attempts to acquire access to your personal computer remotely. This is only acceptable if you have personally engaged an IT professional to take care of a concern related to your system. Such scammers will typically pose as a bank agent attempting to help you with internet banking or an IT person who can help you with updating software or antivirus systems on your computer.

They can then obtain your personal information and use it in any way they please. Avoid engaging in any conversations with such callers, hang up immediately, and consider reporting their contact details to financial fraud cyber crime authorities.

Transfer money to trusted sources only

Impersonation is one of the most common ways in which fraudsters perpetrate financial theft. In such cases, you may be contacted by a person or an institution that claims to work for you, or even represent the financial institution you know and trust to get you to make transactions. In some cellphone models where the caller ID appears on even unknown numbers is not a foolproof way of knowing who is calling since fraudsters often leverage technology to make it appear as though the calls are being made from legitimate organizations.

Avoid falling prey to such finance scams, simply by verifying your identity with the related institution, and not revealing any sensitive personal information, which could make your finances and accounts vulnerable to financial theft.

Find the catch in high-return offers 

If you are thinking that the returns offered on an investment option you are being pitched is too good to be true, chances are, it is. These financial scams fall under the category of investment fraud where fraudsters try to make the most of your desire to make lucrative investments that bring aggressive as well as swift returns. These scams can be typically identified as a pyramid or Ponzi scheme, or unregistered investments that lure you into making financial decisions that are not thought through. Do your research on the person or institution you are relying on to enable the investment and try to seek out licensed intermediaries. 

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