Digital has become the new normal. Because of the dangers of contracting COVID-19, people have learned to minimize face-to-face interactions and transition to virtual ones. For one, more and more Filipinos have started to shop online—not just for leisure but for mundane tasks like grocery shopping and bills payment. (Read: Quarantine Update: Here’s where you can shop for groceries while in lockdown)
More than ever, mobile wallets have become a necessity. Some have even used it for donation drives through digital fund transfers. And since the implementation of the enhanced community quarantine in Luzon, banks and payment firms have reported a surge in online transactions.
Along with this transition, the risks of Filipinos falling prey to scams and fraud have also increased. So how to ensure a safe transaction online? Here are five tips on how to avoid online scams.
1. Do not share passwords and One-Time-Pins.
Your password, especially the one you use for your banking and payment apps, is personal. So you should never share it with anyone. Moreover, you should never share the One-Time-Pin (OTP) that banks are sending to your mobile number for verification because it may lead to fraudulent transactions. (Read: 4 Best Apps to Make Your Life Easier While Working From Home)
2. Frequently change your passwords.
While it is exhausting to always change passwords, this adds another layer of security to your transactions. However, if you’re the type to stick to one password for the rest of your life, make sure that it is fool-proof and very strong. One tip in creating strong passwords is to have a totally unrelated acronym of a sentence, then change some letters to symbols or numbers to make it even more uncrackable.
3. Do not respond to any communication that asks for your personal information.
#BPIcybersecuriTips: Have you ever received an email saying you have purchased an item and that you need to click a link…Posted by BPI on Friday, July 17, 2020
Never disclose your credit card details to anybody soliciting information through email, texts, or phone calls. Bank personnel will never ask for your passwords or CVV because they already have that information on file. If you suspect that your credit card or personal information has been used online without your permission, immediately report to your bank. (Read: 5 Ways to Manage Your Finances Amid COVID-19)
4. Use Cash On Delivery whenever available.
Major shopping websites have the Cash on Delivery (COD) option to combat scammers and bogus buyers. If you can, choose this option when online shopping especially for big money transactions. This will lessen the anxiety that someone might steal your hard-earned money.
5. Only transact with reputable websites or apps.
Only transact with sites that are trustworthy. Ask your friends and read reviews before buying anything. Search results can be rigged to lead buyers astray and get their information or scam them. Always check for misspellings. If anything feels off, log out. (Read: Online Store ‘My White Cart’ Is Your New Go-To for Self-Care Needs!)