Protect Your Money During The Holidays


It's a season to be jolly and we are all looking forward to spending time with out loved ones and just relax. But sadly, this is also a time when scammers are aggressively trying to get money from you. Since the beginning of December I have been getting fake emails from Standard Bank and SARS. I am very much aware that these emails are not from Standard Bank or SARS. So I report them to Google and then delete the email.

Scams succeed because they look like the real thing and catch you off guard when you’re not expecting it. They also exploit your desire to be polite and respectful, as well as your generosity, compassion and good nature.

Even though we are all in a festive mood, it's important for us to stay vigilant. It's important that we end the year with no financial drama. Family drama, unfortunately, is inevitable and sorry that I can't help there. But financials dramas should be avoided at all costs.

So this holiday, be alert and protect yourself from being scammed by following our tips.

Protect your phone and laptop
Always use password protection, don’t share access with others (including remotely), update security software and back up content. Protect your WiFi network with a password and avoid using public computers or WiFi hotspots to access online banking or provide personal information. And never leave your laptop on. Switch it off if it's not in use.

Alert SMS and Email
Make sure that your SMS and emails alert from your bank is working properly. These alerts make it easier for you to stay in control of your bank accounts and help prevent fraud. This is to alert you to what’s happening with your bank account. I also recommend that you use your pin code immediately if you were doing a transaction.

Phishing emails
Not every criminal is that clever. Most are just persistent in their attempts to get your money or personal details and find lazy "victims" who don't check and double check everything.
Make sure you check the email address where it comes from. In many of these emails the message will say the email is from Standard Bank, however, it will provide help@it.net. While that email address could be an instant indicator that Standard Bank DID NOT send the message, keep in mind that even the email address can be spoofed to show helpdesk@standardbankc.co.za  or something along those lines. Check everything. Never open an e-mail attachment from someone you don’t know, and be wary of forwarded attachments from people you do know. They may have an unwittingly advanced malicious code.

Malicious Links
According to Symantec, an internet security company, attackers behind malicious spam campaigns have shifted their tactics in recent months and are increasingly attempting to infect victims by luring them into clicking on links rather than sending them malicious attachments.
Don’t click on links in emails. Again, double check the email. Fake advertisements for deals always come with infected attachments and links to phoney websites.

Be Alert When Shopping Online
Before you order from a website, verify both that the company is legitimate and that you have not been directed to a spoof of their website. Do not use external links, and enter the correct company URL in your browser or rather via Google.

Use your credit card, not your debit card.
Your debit card pulls the capital directly out of your account. While credit cards come with more protection. Check the protection that comes with your credit card.

Review your bank statements 
Review your account statements even more frequently than usual for suspicious withdrawals or charges. Be sure to also check your credit report -look for address changes you didn’t make, new accounts you didn’t create and other unfamiliar details.

I hope that these tips can protect your personal information and keep you safe from the schemers this holiday season.


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