Criminals now have the choice of engaging in illicit activities in the real world or online, both of which can yield payoffs – sometimes substantial payoffs – and land themselves in a world of trouble if they fail to exercise enough caution.
People who engage in crime through the World Wide Web, whether it be a local access network, a company’s in-house computer system, the illicit-goods-economy portion of the deep web, or the clearnet – that’s the part of the Internet that you’re on right now, if you didn’t know – are called cybercriminals.
One of the most common ways cybercriminals generate earnings is through financial fraud. You never know when you could find yourself victim to such activity. Here’s how to promote good personal financial health via keeping your card numbers and other financial information safe.
Wait – there are credit cards that expire after one use?
You’ve probably held an account at one or more banks or other financial institutions that sent you a credit or debit card through the mail. It probably took five to 10 days to arrive at your mailbox, ready for your activation and – later on – use.
What happens if your card info gets scammed at an ATM or a self-pay gas pump? Is it time to wait for up to two weeks just to use your card again?
Credit and debit cards’ numbers remain static and never change. The longer you have them, the more likely it is you’re going to find yourself a victim of fraud. Fortunately, there’s such a thing as single-use cards.
Although you largely can’t use them in person, they do make online shopping leaps and bounds safer. After every use, you generate a new card number to use for your next purchase. This makes for solid personal financial hygiene.
Don’t ignore statements
Financial fraudsters manage to get over on some people because the targets fail to check their bank statements. This effectively keeps themselves in the dark, none the wiser to what’s going on – and definitely not able to report such unauthorized transactions to card issuers to dispute them while there’s still time to do so.
It might not be fun, but always glance over your statements from time to time.
Get money in person if possible – like through a structured settlement
Structured settlements are rigid frameworks used to pay other parties money in the form of weekly, monthly, or other period-based payments. These agreements often are paid out in the form of checks. With checks, you can readily convert them into cash, effectively bypassing the need to use your credit or debit card, thereby keeping it safe through abstinence.
Try to avoid getting structured settlements paid out to debit or credit cards because it’s possible for fraudsters to steal your info, sell the settlement, and leave you with nothing. Checks, cash, and bank account transfers are usually pretty safe choices.