Hey, my name is Chris with Money Burst, and welcome to our series on fraud, where my goal is to help you keep your money safe.
Now we've been talking all about how to protect yourself against fraud and those people who are out there trying to trick you out of your money. In this video, let's talk about two more popular scams.
So first, let's take a look at phishing and that's phishing with a 'ph.' Phishing is considered one of the most common forms of cyber-attacks out there, and the largest cause of data breaches across the world. Phishing refers to email sent out by cyber attackers requesting personal information.
They're looking for things like usernames, passwords and Social Security numbers in order to get access to your accounts. Now obviously, you're not going to just give all this information to some random person that sends you a message. So, they end up posing as your credit union or your credit card company, or even someone from IT at your job. They'll say something like, "Hey just reaching out from your bank to confirm that this was really you that bought this thousand-dollar purchase from Amazon." And then, "All you got to do is just respond back to this email with a few details about your account and we can block this charge."
So of course, you get nervous. You're in a rush to respond without really even paying attention and now you've just given your information to a criminal and they can get access to your bank account.
Something really key to remember is that Truliant and any other financial institution, they will never, I mean never, ask you for your personal information. Whether it's something about you, or about your account via email, if you do get some type of sketchy email that makes you a little nervous just make sure you do not reply. Don't click any links on that message or open any attachments.
Also, it's always great to just double check the email address that message came from because that can be a really good giveaway that this is from someone that you don't know. Another thing that you can do is to call the number on the back of your debit card, or just go and visit the official website to get real contact information and follow up on this situation on your own.
Next, let's talk about payday loan scams. So, if you're not familiar with payday loans, they are the small, short-term loans that you can get if you are in desperate need of some cash to make it to your next payday. Now these are some of the worst loans that are out there, and they come with ridiculous fees that could be the equivalent of a 400% interest rate on a credit card. But if the fact that these are predatory loans is not enough already, they are also a very popular tool for scammers.
In a report that was put out by the Better Business Bureau, they showed that they have received over 3,000 payday lender-related scam complaints since 2019, with the median amount being lost reaching $1,000.
And one popular scam that hackers like to use is that they'll go out they'll steal data from an actual, real payday lender and then they'll go out and reach out to their previous customers posing to be a rep from that company. Then they attempt to convince the previous customer that they owe some money still, like they didn't pay off everything they said they would pay. And then they try to pressure them with threats if they don't want to pay it back.
Money is tight for millions of Americans, and when we are feeling stressed and panicking to make ends meet, it's really easy to let our guard down and make some mistakes.
So, if you ever receive a call or an email from a lender that sounds a little bit off, I want you to go directly to the source. Don't trust the phone number that somebody emails to you. Go online, get accurate contact information directly from the lenders website and just be safe and cautious. So, make sure you're all staying safe out there, and I'll be back with some more tips to help you avoid fraud.