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Online Credit: Are you being scammed?

Credit card scams KOnline swindles have evolved a lot since the times when a Ghanaian scammer huddled in a crowded cyber café miles and miles away would send spam mail in the hopes to reel you in. Incidences of such fraud have also risen over the years. There are many of these fraud artists with the sole aim to get your hard-earned cash. While there was a time when ignoring spam mail and clicking on the right links kept you safe enough, today you have to be more vigilant. As the trend doesn't seem to be dying out any time soon we shall be focusing on online credit scams people are still falling for.

Credit card scams you should not fall for in 2018

Scammers are constantly inventing new ways of accessing your credit card details. Even the old schemes you're familiar with have a whole new spin with the intent to harm you financially! Here’s the top examples:

The ‘social engineering’ scam

Your card issuer will typically warn you when they detect some fishy activity, but most people forget they never contact you in person for very obvious reasons... In an ironic twist of events, fraudsters take advantage of the fact to swindle you out of your money. This is a form of social engineering where the scammer obtains data through your social media footprint which can lead to impersonating your financial institution. The caller contacts you informing you of suspicious activity on your account. They then proceed to ask you some questions prying important account information from you. For it to work to perfection, the scammers gather some generic info about you that you inadvertently assume your credit card issuer would know. They usually ask for information such as the security code at the back of your card. The end result is giving the scammer an open ‘meal ticket’ to your bank card!

The Fake Wi-Fi network scam

The scam has spread all across the globe. The gist of it is a fake Wi-Fi network set-up in a public area. The group of scammers waits on unsuspecting users to reveal credit card details or log-in information for electronic banking while logged on to their fake WiFi network. They scrape your information with potentially detrimental effects to any of your online accounts.

The hotel front-desk call scam

Most people should know to be on their guard -even on vacation. Though you may have all your bases covered, these scammers may use your hotel to add fraudulent charges onto your card. Normally, the scammer calls and informs you of some dubious malfunction at the front desk that requires you to give your credit card details again.

The ‘Ghost Terminal' scam

Ghost terminals will have you paying for purchases on phony payment networks. Credit card scammers get access to your credit card details once you feed them in and go on to make wild payments all across the web. Prevalence of ghost terminals has increased much faster than most credit card frauds. Such units work as syndicates with all the sophisticated tech to boot making them tough to trace. We can only count on improved chip technology and the bank's ability to keep up with the criminals.

The Ghana ‘419 Scam’

Back again for more is a spin on an old scam once called the ‘419 Scam’ which is the same as the recent ‘Ghana Internet Romance’ scam. This is where people who have been cat-fished through online dating sites and then are later tricked out of their money through private means. Most of these tricksters are Nigerian who flock to Ghana due to the overwhelming amount of unemployment. The In a region known for being a lot like a ‘Wild West’ arena than anything else, where laws and limitations for internet usage is largely untouched and unregulated.

Online betting

People often lose a lot of money when they bet online. Having your credit card assigned to a online gaming account might not be a good idea if you suffer from a gambling addiction. Online betting games are designed to make you keep wanting to play and spend more while people are chasing that elusive big jackpot win.

The Bottom Line

You are your first line of defense and thus protection starts with being extra vigilant. You should stay in close contact with your credit card issuer to keep your details safe. Upon having any activated alerts, anyone would hate to receive notifications on a personal level but without them many people could be ripped off further. Also, remember to keep changing your passwords and strengthening them with better backing-up your security wall.