As the holiday draws near, fraudsters are on the prowl for whom to defraud using dubious shopping websites and posing on social media platforms as customer support agents of legitimate businesses to steal your identity.
While activities of online fraudsters are more sophisticated and are posed to spike during the holiday season, according to reports, other types of frauds that fraudsters are likely to use in defrauding you include digital loan scams, one-time password (OTP) scams, giveaway campaign scams, and free gift or voucher scams.
Aside from the security measures put in place by businesses such as banks, fintechs and online shopping stores, you owe it to yourself to take some safety precautions when conducting financial transactions during this holiday season.
Here are five easy safety tips to save yourself from fraudsters this holiday.
- Shop from secure retail outlets
Shoppers this holiday season will see an increase in dubious shopping websites, with some of them offering ridiculous discounts to attract unsuspecting shoppers to input their debit card details which would be stolen by fraudsters.
Do not shop on an online retail store that you don’t trust or haven’t used before, it doesn’t matter whether they are offering the best discount. Moreso, if the discounts they are offering look too good to be true, it’s probably because it is not true.
Shop using verified online websites or payment apps that are secure and seamless. Payment apps like PalmPay have been integrated with different business outlets, allowing you to pay your bills and utilities securely and with ease.
- Use only trusted POS machines
Whether you want to withdraw cash to spend this holiday season or make payments using a point of sale (POS), it is good that you thread carefully and only patronise POS agents that have terminals of fintech brands that you can trust.
Stay vigilant and watch out for possible irregularities while patronising POS agents. To ensure that the details of your card are not stolen, hide them and do not input your personal identification number (PIN) in the presence of other people.
Using POS terminals of trusted fintech companies cannot be emphasised enough. For ease of transaction, use POS terminals that offer a good network, a reliable system with less than one percent failure rate, an option to know banks’ network updates in real-time, and 24/7 quick customer dispute resolution.
- Be wary of unsolicited calls, emails and texts
Expect to receive several unsolicited phone calls, emails and text messages from scammers claiming to be from businesses that you know. Some of these calls, emails and texts would claim that you’ve won a discount or holiday giveaway from a trusted business and would ask you to pay some money to enjoy the discount or giveaway.
Do not fall for this trick. Legitimate businesses will not ask you to pay money to enjoy a giveaway promotion or require that you send sensitive bank details to be granted access to a discount. Beware! No staff or agents of PalmPay will call or text you to ask for money or sensitive information in exchange for a coupon or a discount.
- Research discounts, giveaways
This brings us to the next and one of the most important safety tips to always apply during this holiday season and after. Always do your research on purported discounts and giveaway challenges supposedly coming from trusted brands.
During the holiday, whenever you come across an ongoing giveaway promotion, go to the official social media accounts and websites of the brand to verify. Any discount or giveaway challenge that is not communicated to the public through the official social media channels of a legitimate business should be viewed cautiously.
Every discount and giveaway by PalmPay is usually posted on the company’s social media pages. Follow the right handles on Instagram, Facebook, X (formerly Twitter), TikTok and LinkedIn, and always look out for the verified check marks.
- Avoid fraudulent fintech apps
Do not give out your personal information and bank details to fintech platforms that you do not trust. It is important that we repeat this safety warning. Do not download fintech apps that are not regulated by the government.
Loan or fintech apps that are not regulated by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and whose deposits are not insured by the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) should be avoided completely. Before downloading any fintech or loan app, conduct your research to ensure that they boldly carry the CBN and NDIC badges.
Aside from being regulated by the CBN and insured by NDIC, at PalmPay we go the extra mile to ensure that our over 30 million users and the more than 1.1 million businesses that are part of our payment ecosystem are safe from fraudsters. Follow our social media handles to stay up-to-date on safety guidelines.