Many unfortunate people have been exposed to regular fraud and identity theft online and it can be hard to find out how to avoid it. We generally trust each other and we must keep doing that. Unfortunately, there are unreliable people who cynically abuse our trust to steal our money or our identity.
There are more and more phishing mails in our inboxes these days and although it is a slightly difficult word, which may not tell us very much, it is important to understand. Phishing is a term used to describe how online fraudsters ask us provide them with personal information in order to ultimately steal money and/or to pretend to be us by accessing our personal information.
Here you can read about the three most common forms of identity theft and fraud:
1: The lie of inheritance
One of the most widely used methods for luring money out of private individuals is to send emails where the sender pretends to represent a rich deceased relative and claims that you are entitled to a large amount of money, if you give them personal information about yourself. It is usually cheating and deception and you should never answer these emails. A good rule of thumb is that if you receive an email which sounds too good to be true, it is too good to be true.
2: Identity Theft
Another way to exploit ordinary citizens is to send out emails where the sender pretends to represent a public authority. There are several examples of mails that appear to be from the tax authorities but in reality they are sent by fraudsters who want your personal information to exploit them for their own purposes. Although illegal, it takes place on a daily basis. You can avoid identity theft by sticking to a simple principle: You should never follow a link in an email from a public authority but instead go directly to the website of the tax authorities for example, even if you have no doubts as to whether you have actually received information from the tax authority or not. This applies to mails from all public authorities.
3: Money fraud
Like with mails where the sender pretends to be from public authorities there are mails where the sender makes it seem as though there is new mail from your bank. They simply make an email address similar to that of your own bank and write something like “credit advice” or the like. The same rule of thumb applies to these emails as to emails from public authorities: You should never follow a direct link in the mail. Even if you are convinced, it is from your bank. You can always access your bank’s website and log in to your account to check if there is a new email for you and that is what you should do.
If you follow these three tips, you are well equipped to avoid online identity theft and fraud.