Not too long ago I wrote post about Phishing in the Caribbean, and how that there are Signs of Phishing in Dominica.
For those of you reading this post for the first time, and have no idea what phishing is â€“ basically, phishing is a scheme used by internet fraudster in the attempt to tick bank and credit card customers to innocently reveal their security detail so that they can gain access to the individual accounts.
The Caribbean is rapidly becoming the new phishing destination, due to the fact that most of the law enforcement agencies around the Caribbean are new to these types of internet crimes.
So how does one protect against Internet fraud and phishing?
The first and last rule is to educate yourself as to the risks; ignorance is no defense as the Judge would say. Fraudsters are becoming more and more sophisticated and so you must keep abreast of the risks and different techniques being employed.
There are some simple rules you should always remember:
- The bank will never ask you for your PIN, password, catch-phrase or anything like that.
- Never disclose your password or PIN to anyone.
- Always type in the address of your bankâ€™s or credit card companyâ€™s website.
- Use a secure password: not your date of birth, vehicle registration, telephone number or anything associated with you that someone might easily guess.
- Use different passwords for different secure sites.
- Check your bank and credit card statements immediately.
- Always know where your passport, drivers licence and social security card is, and report them lost/stolen once youâ€™re satisfied you cannot find them.
- Properly destroy old utility bills, bank statements and any mail which is of a sensitive nature that may contain your name and address, or that could be used as identification to open an account or gain credit.
- Keep your important documents in a secure place and keep records of your credit card number, as well as the number to report them lost/stolen. Remember you wouldnâ€™t have the card!
This is not an in-depth list, but should serve to bring security and the ricks of fraud home to those who never gave it a second thought. There hundreds of different measures which can be taken to improve computer security and how to protect your private information, but thatâ€™s beyond the scope of this article.
Basically, be aware and educate yourself, get training; it costs money sure, think of it this way – a car sticker , which reads â€œIf you think Education is expensive, try ignorance.â€
If youâ€™re interested to know more about online crimes (phishing), I encourage to look-up the term in Google, there you will find hundreds of websites with updated information on online crimes and identity theft. Please donâ€™t be one of the many who say â€œI had no ideaâ€ or â€œIf only I did knowâ€¦â€