Be careful of scams!

Author : teriann

How safe are consumers? Well information provided by the Consumer Affairs Commission suggests that consumers are even more at risk with the advent of new ways in which scammers operate.

The simple truth is almost anyone can be a scammer.  Since there is no one way that a scammer looks it is important that all consumers protect themselves including never giving their pin number to anyone or letting the card out of their sight when doing transactions.

Types of Scams

In Jamaica, scammers are becoming more and more sophisticated and their technology allows them to clone cards and this is particularly devastating when the funds are all gone and yet you still have the card in your possession.

They use machines attached to ATM machines which scammers use to remove information from your card.  They are then able to use this information to access the money in your account.

Sometimes they even get more creative and get assistance from store clerks who swipe the card but also swipe away your information as they attach a section to the machine without you even knowing what has happened.

Then you have those websites which look so innocent. Many of them appear to be legitimate however as soon as you enter your card information you are then truly caught in their web of lies. They take your information and soon the bank is calling with the sad news that you have been a victim of  a scam.

Protection

There are ways to protect yourself however you don’t have to be a victim. For example when using your credit card in public there are many tips that you can try to safeguard your information.

Be alert when using ATM machines.

I notice that some persons are distracted when they are in these machines. They don’t even realize that there is something strange about the opening where they should insert  their card.

It pays to examine your surroundings and ensure that there is not additional area on the machine.  If it looks suspicious leave and report it to the nearest police station and the bank.

When using your card at a merchant, watch the clerk swipe the card.  I sometimes ask if I can swipe it as that ensures that I get a close up of the machine. If you seem to be paying close attention to how the card is being handled, it might deter potential thieves from stealing your information.

Shopping Online

When shopping online it is important to look at the web address.  If the web address has ‘http’ at the beginning that’s a good sign that it is a legitimate site.  Consumers must also ensure that the website has encryption.

If you think about it it’s best to make online purchases on your home computer and not on public free wi-fi with no security.  These free Wifi spots are notorious for being easy targets to scammers.

So be safe and keep those scammers away at all costs. However if despite your best efforts if you are still targeted contact your bank immediately.

What’s your take? How do you protect yourself from being scammed? Let me hear from you!

Teri Ann Renee Paisley

Gleaner Online Writer

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3 Responses to “Be careful of scams!”

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  2. Carlene Wynter says:

    This is timely advice. I am hoping that the time will come in Jamaica when there is no need for vendors to handle a customer’s Cr/Dr Card, thereby eliminating the risk of vendors having access to card details. The technology should be improved to the point where there is no need for the vendor to even touch a customer’s card. Financial institutions we call on you to make this step.

  3. teriann says:

    Hi Carlene,
    Thanks for taking the time to read and comment on my post. I hear your call to action hopefully we can see even more improvements to keep our money safe from scammers. In the meantime we have to ensure that we do our part!

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