With more of our lives than ever before taking place online this year, it’s vitally important that we make sure we’re staying safe on the internet. We’ve put together a guide to help you avoid online scams and keep your data (and money) safe while enjoying web-based financial services.
- Be prepared
It’s always a good idea to know how your financial services firms will contact you, so that you can more easily spot fake communications. Some firms may include a portion of your postcode in legitimate emails, while Pledjar will never ask for sensitive information via email. Instead, we only ask you to confirm this information through the Pledjar app. This means you’ll know straight away that any emails claiming to be from us but asking for your password, bank details or address are scams.
- Check your spam filters
Email accounts are equipped with spam filters, which automatically separate some phishing emails from your main inbox. You should be able to alter your spam filter settings in your account, and you can mark any new spam emails as junk to help the filters to differentiate between real emails and phishing emails in the future. These filters are very helpful, but it’s important to remember that they’re not fool proof. You need to remain cautious when opening new emails regardless of your filter settings.
- Never give out personal details
Personal information like passwords, pin numbers and bank account details should always be kept private. Legitimate financial services will not ask you to send all or part of these details in writing – this includes emails and texts. Do not reply to any messages like this, and mark them as spam.
- Check links, numbers and email addresses
Phishing emails and texts will generally be sent from email addresses and phone number that do not quite match the company they profess to come from. If in doubt, check the firm’s official email address online before taking any further action. Similarly, if a website linked in an email doesn’t look right – don’t click on it!
- Unexpected links and attachments
If you receive an email or text message containing links that you are not expecting, or that look a little strange, do not click on them. If you’re worried about not completing the actions the email is telling you to, simply open your browser and navigate to the relevant webpage manually. Similarly, never download, open or preview attachments you are not expecting, or that have bizarre names. If in doubt, contact the company’s customer service team and they’ll be happy to confirm whether or not the correspondence is legitimate.
We hope this has helped you to feel a little better prepared to combat online scams. If you receive any suspect communications claiming to be Pledjar, you can forward it to firstname.lastname@example.org before deleting it.