Steering clear of scams
May 4, 2023
To celebrate World Password Day, we have put together some tips to help you avoid falling victim to scams. Figures published recently by the Central Statistics Office (CSO) show that banking and online scams are now the main drivers of fraud in Ireland. Scams usually target your bank account or card details.
Here are some actions you can take to protect yourself:
Create stronger passwords
Protecting access to your personal accounts starts with using a strong, unique password for each account.
You should use passwords that are at least eight characters long and ideally 20 or more characters. When resetting your password, try to avoid using simple words, pet’s names, people’s names, birth dates or other anniversary dates. You can also use an online password generator that will create hard to guess passwords. This makes it easier to have strong, unique passwords on all of your private accounts. You can also consider using a password manager to store all of your strong passwords.
This World Password Day, make it your business to do an audit of your online passwords, update any less secure ones and make sure you’re not using the same one on multiple sites.
Think before you click
Be careful not to click on any links or download attachments you’re unsure of. Many scams try to offer you something exclusive by inviting you to click on a link. You’ll be asked to act urgently on the offer or within a certain time frame. Remember, if it sounds too good to be true it usually is!
For example, a common scam involves asking consumers to click on a link in an email or text to claim their tax refund.
Top Tip: If you’re unsure that an email is legitimate, go to the business’ website and contact them directly rather than using the link in an email or text message.
Stay safe on social media
You should be careful what you share online. Never assume that default privacy and security settings on social media platforms will protect you. Review and update your privacy settings to ensure you’re sharing your personal information only with intended viewers.
Learn more about the kind of scams to watch out for.
Be wary of cold calls
Scammers are using more and more sophisticated methods. Many now call their victims pretending to be from their bank and gain their trust with known information. This may be your personal details or information on fraudulent transactions on your account that they have made. Never give out personal details if a business calls you, instead call them back immediately using a number you know to be legitimate such as the one on the back of your debit or credit card.
Caught out by a scam?
Contact your bank immediately in the event that you’ve given someone your bank or credit card details. Your bank account may need to be put on hold and your card cancelled until it is checked out.
If you believe that you been scammed, you should also report this to the Gardaí.
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