A new report released by the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners revealed fraud cases are on the rise. In “November 2020, 79% of respondents said they saw an increase in the overall level of fraud”, which steadily rose throughout 2020. This is thought to be in part due to COVID-19 and the resulting financial hardships that people are facing.
Unfortunately, the pandemic has created new opportunities for scammers to exploit. One particular target has been stimulus checks and unemployment payments that people are currently relying on. With fraud on the rise, it's especially important to be fully aware of the risks in order to protect yourself (and your money) from scammers.
3 ways to protect yourself from fraud
No one ever thinks they will become the victim of a scammer, but it can happen to anyone. Ensuring you're fully aware of the dangers out there and how scammers operate is key when it comes to protecting yourself.
1. When in doubt, pick up the phone
Scammers often call posing as someone else in an attempt to get you to hand over data. For example, they may call pretending to be a bank employee and run you through what sounds like routine questions covering details about your account information.
Scammers can be persuasive, and many people think nothing of it when handing over the details. The most important thing to remember is that banks and card providers such as Netspend will never call you asking for sensitive information.
The best thing you can do if someone asks for financial or account details over the phone is to hang up and call the company's official number back yourself. You can usually find these numbers on the financial institution's official website or on the back of your card.
2. Be cautious when sharing personal or financial information
It's always best to exercise caution if you are ever unsure about handing over sensitive information to someone. If at any point you are asked for bank details or other financial information, this is a red flag.
Even if you only have a small doubt in your mind, it's best to verify that the communication is legitimate yourself. In some cases, scammers will try to pile on the pressure to get you to act, but it's important to remain firm and double-check.
3. Educate yourself on fraud and scammer tactics
The best way to avoid becoming a victim of a scam is to educate yourself on fraud safety and the most common scammer tactics. One way you could start this is to test your knowledge of scams and fraud schemes using Netspend’s scam education quiz: Truth or Scam.
Based on your total correct answers, Netspend’s scam education quiz will assess your level of scam expertise and provide additional learning resources. Test your knowledge to see how prepared you are to protect yourself from fraud.
How Netspend deals with fraud
Netspend uses modern technology and tools to protect customers' money from scams. One of the primary ways Netspend protects its customers is through real-time transaction monitoring. This allows Netspend to take action in real-time to protect customers' money in the case of suspicious activity.
If suspicious activity is identified, Netspend can place a temporary hold on the card until the customer can verify that the transaction isn't fraudulent. Keeping your information safe from fraud is our biggest priority and we use various tools to ensure a hold on your account is quickly addressed.
The next evolution of Netspend fraud monitoring
There are several different types of fraud, and different tools are required to catch each type. That's why Netspend makes use of multiple fraud monitoring tactics to keep customers safe, such as real-time monitoring, machine learning, and fraud alerts.
Communication is a key part of how Netspend protects its customers from fraud. Netspend uses Integrated Voice Response (IVR), which means there’s no need to wait talk to an agent when contacting Netspend about fraud queries and this feature is available for your use 24/7. Netspend offers text and email fraud alert options. These messages are sent out in real-time to ask you if a particular transaction was made by you or not. Customers can then quickly respond without having to call Netspend directly. This fast fraud alert system also reduces instances of false alarms and increases speed of verification.
Keeping you (and your money) safe
The key to protecting yourself from fraud is education. It's also essential to have the right tools working for you to help you better protect your money. By educating yourself about fraud and scammer tactics, you can be proactive about protecting yourself. For guidance on how to learn more about fraud, visit the Netspend Privacy and Security Center.