Loes Knetsch ©
It seems that there are more and more dishonest people online, bombarding you from all sides with fake emails, messages and WhatsApps. You really have to be wary of falling for the latest online scams these days. Before you know it you’re screwed. Here are 15 tips to avoid current phishing scams online.
You can also do (or not do) a lot yourself to prevent online, email and colporteur scams.
15 Tips To Avoid Phishing Scams
1. Choose Strong Passwords
Use hard-to-find passwords. Love 15 and Welcome1 really can’t do anymore. Always use more than 8 characters including an uppercase letter, a lowercase letter, a number and a symbol. If you find that difficult, you can also use a password generator such as Lastpass.
2. Do not send a copy of your ID
Never send a copy of your ID, passport or driver’s license to private individuals. You never know who is behind the computer and what things they will do with it. Use the Google app for this or the Apple app.A little vulnerability is all we need ~The Hacker!~ Click To Tweet
When you decide to make a copy yourself:
Make your citizen service number illegible in the copy, also in the number series at the bottom.
Write on the copy that it is a copy.
Write on the copy for which agency or product the copy is intended.
Write on the copy the date on which you hand in the copy.
3. Email Scams
Don’t just pay because an email says so. Call your bank, or the organization where the e-mail (supposedly) comes from for clarification. Be extra alert if there is a (payment) link in the email. Check with the relevant company whether you really owe money by just calling them.
4. Links and Downloads
Never ever click on links in email, SMS or WhatsApp messages. These can immediately infiltrate and/or infect your computer with a nasty virus or give access to your address books. Even email messages from acquaintances should be approached with suspicion. After all, you don’t know if their computer has been hacked yet.
5. Scams Abroad
Make sure you have the correct name/number combination. There is no bank check on payments abroad. Do not fall for telephone calls from Microsoft, that your Windows account has been compromised. Microsoft never calls private persons.
6. Use Two-step Verification
If you are given the option to use 2-step verification, do so. You will then receive an SMS code on your own mobile phone that is used to log in.
7. Sharing Pin Codes
Keep your hand in front of it when entering a PIN and don’t let anyone distract you. Only give your PIN to someone else (e.g. family member) if it is absolutely necessary. Don’t let your little children enter your PIN. Before you know it they can shout it out loud.
8. Filling forms
Filling in data is not an exam. Like, ha, I know all the answers! Only fill in the essential part, you know the one with the ** (mandatory). Amazing, but most of the data we reveal ourselves.
Before you buy anything online, check the details of the website. The local address, telephone number and registration number with the Chamber of Commerce. Google the address with Google street view. If necessary, call the telephone number provided to find out whether you are doing business with a professional company. Also read the reviews, and determine whether they are reliable. Check if the site has a quality mark. If you can’t find anything, or if you don’t quite trust it despite the data, ask Google.
10. Pay at the door
Unless agreed in advance, do not engage in door-to-door sales. Don’t be tempted to grab your debit card and buy something at the door.
11. WhatsApp, different number, fraud
Your son or daughter sends you a message, I have a different number, and I need money immediately, can you…?? don’t fall for it! Speak to your family member in person before transferring money.
12. Request verification
Do not respond to credit card or debit card verification requests. Check directly with your bank. The bank or credit card company never sends these! Pass them on as fake email. Almost every bank has a reporting point.
13. Keep your login codes and PINs secret
Never give your pin or login code to a “voice” on the other end of the phone. Don’t be fooled by someone who claims to be from your bank and that the bank has been hacked and that your money is not safe. Hang up and call your bank to see if they know anything about this.Money is like fat, it's always in the wrong places Click To Tweet
If a colporteur comes to your door, always ask for a proof of identity. That too can be counterfeit, if in doubt, don’t do it.
15. Spread the word
Talk to others about it. Pass on your knowledge. Not everyone reads everything that is going around in this area. Raise awareness of the different ways scammers use.