Mobile payment apps have been a revolutionary presence in the fintech world. You can now virtually access your money deposited in the e-wallets of any payments platform. And with the adoption we’ve seen in 2020, it really is possible to step out of our homes without any cash.
However, the rise in the popularity of e-wallets has inevitably invited the attention of scammers. While back in the real world, where you can clutch on to your wallet and protect your money, you don’t have this luxury in the virtual realm. So here’s a guide to effectively prevent e-wallet scammers:
#1 Look for Genuine E-wallet Providers
One of the main modus operandi of scammers is to offer fake e-wallet service or dubious payment portals. You will most likely be enticed by unbelievable offers like ‘20% balance increment to whatever amount you deposit in the e-wallet’. Once you fill in your bank details or transfer the money, the portal is nowhere to be found anymore.
So it is highly advised to transfer your money to e-wallets of the financial companies regulated by the central financial body of your country. Or you can transfer money to the e-wallets of known global MNCs. Always remember, the aim is to look for credibility and legitimacy of the e-wallet provider.
#2 Unsecured vs Secured Gateways
Secured gateways are websites protected using SSL (secure sockets layer). These websites usually have a lock sign at the start of their URL. This indicates that these websites are verified and free of bugs. Here, you can share the private credentials or your e-wallet details to carry out a transaction, generally without worry.
Sharing details on unsecured gateways is the equivalent of handling your house key to a burglar. Just like websites, you must share critical information only on verified and protected apps. The chances of any scammer crossing the protective firewall are extremely thin here.
Similarly, you should also not share information for login to your e-wallet using public wifi. Such gateways are usually watched by scammers preying for their next victim.
#3 Watch Out For Harmful Malware and Viruses
It has been observed that most of the time an e-wallet scam occurs owing to one’s negligence. By clicking on unsafe links that are shared to you via SMS, emails, or other chat options, in the guise of some emotionally charging information, you end up downloading harmful malware. This malware then secretly works behind the programs and extracts the information from your device and sends it to the scammers.
Or sometimes such malware can offer the complete view of your device screen to the scammer, who will then contact you as a concerned authority to check your e-wallet status. You will then unknowingly type all your details and share them with the scamming entity.
You can protect yourself from this by never installing anything from an unverified source. Also, you must install an antivirus application on your device that can check any application installed for its genuity.
#4 Strong Password: A Major Line of Defense
There is a crucial reason why cybersecurity experts always urge you to create a strong password. A strong password is not only difficult to crack but it is highly unguessable.
Many times e-wallet scammers can access an account since the password is a pitifully easy sequence like ‘Abcde’ or ‘12345’. You can not then blame the scam that follows for your unfortunate fate.
Always follow the guidelines regarding the strong password and set a password that is not only strong but you can remember it as a mnemonic. If you have to write the password down somewhere, that keeps that page always protected from prying eyes.
#5 Be Wary of Fake Help Handles and Portals
Once you are experiencing some problems related to your e-wallet or your transactions in general, you will intuitively search about it on a platform like Google. Here, you will most likely encounter fake support handles of that payments platform, usually on popular social media platforms like Twitter or Instagram. These handles masquerading as the official one will likely send you a link or coax you to reveal your account details in the guise of solving your problems.
You must be wary of these tricks used by the scammers to dupe you of your money. Always reach out or contact the customer support handles listed on the official website of the platform. Also, in case you wish to contact the support group directly through social media, then do look for signs of ingenuity and verification like blue ticks, before you establish any contact.
What to do after an e-wallet scam?
E-wallet scams, despite being an unfortunate happening, are fortunately most of the time-reversible. While each country has its guidelines and mandates on how to deal with this situation, most of them allow you the privilege of getting back a refund. Based on the swiftness of your actions in alerting the payments platform, you might end up getting the transfer stopped or reversing the transaction. In this way, you might receive the entire amount back as a refund.
It is important to note that although laws are protecting you from thefts like e-wallet scams if such a scam happens owing to your negligence then, you, and not the e-wallet company will be liable for the loss. You will then have to bear the loss of your money till the time you inform your e-wallet service provider.
The popular idiom ‘Prevention is better than cure’, fits aptly here since by just being a bit aware and vigilant, you can safeguard your money in an e-wallet. Remember to pick the right financial solutions for yourself too – those that have extensive security mechanisms in place and are a joy to use. Like Salt.