What To Do During a Fintech Scam
By Space Coast Daily // November 24, 2020
The pandemic has led to a sharp increase in cyber attacks, and apps that facilitate financial transactions are a hot target. In 2020 alone, this corner of the illicit market cost American consumers more than $77 million.
With the rapid increase in economic need, many lending services and banks have ramped up their online offerings to reach borrowers remotely. This has led to an increase in fintech innovation, but it’s also brought more negative attention toward borrowers and service providers alike.
From applicants seeking car title loans to mortgages to those just shopping for a new credit card, all online users of fintech services are vulnerable to falling under a cyber attack.
What should you do if you fall victim to a fintech scam? Here are a few key ways to stay protected, and how to recover from a digital attack.
Understand the Risks
Fintech scams can affect anyone, at virtually any time. Knowing how to identify the signs in one piece of the puzzle; but understanding the risks is an important first step to take.
Fintech systems like keycard readers, virus protection software, and biometrically locked applications provide a locked barrier between unauthorized users and sensitive data. These steps make it more difficult to access – or even decode – personal or private data.
By gaining access to your mobile or desktop device, fraudsters can tap into your banking or other financial information. Now that much of the financial industry has moved to the cloud, this information can also be easily accessible via wireless networks.
Once someone gets a hold of account numbers, security questions, or other identifying information they can drain personal or business finances with just a few keystrokes.
Know What to Look For
Artificial intelligence in current fintech systems is one of the industry’s best defenses against data loss. But, being able to fix a data breach can largely depend on the consumer’s ability to identify key warning signs.
Although software systems provide individuals with an extra set of digital eyes, it’s important to stay wary of common danger points.
These might include:
• Infected links
• Dupe banking/financial portal sites
• Slow device processing
• Unsecured public wi-fi networks
Often, online threats can run in the background and are much more difficult to detect by being careful alone. But, websites without security certification and downloads with suspicious extensions are where much of the threat lies. Additionally, emails written with poor grammar are another red flag to be aware of.
In general, if something feels like it may be “off” – it probably is.
Stay Protected and Alert
There’s no foolproof way to prevent attackers from gaining access to your financial data, but you can take certain measures to reduce the changes as much as possible.
As the human element, users stand to be the weakest link of the data security chain. But, this is where you have the most control over how to prevent and address attacks. Education and staying up-to-date on online security trends.
Ransomware is also a growing avenue that data thieves are preferring in 2020. This is used to solicit money by threatening to expose or delete the information found on a user’s device.
From company trade secrets to private details, this method is often delivered via:
• Infected emails
• Malicious links
• Drive-by downloads
• Unauthorized drives
Using ransomware protection software is one way to prevent this threat from infiltrating your system. But, knowing what to look out for can go a long way toward keeping your mobile of desktop devices safe and secure.
If you believe that you’ve fallen victim to a fintech or data theft scam, secure all of your connected devices immediately. This means changing passwords, updating access codes, and wiping drives if needed.
Keeping an eye out for fishy links and suspicious emails is just one step online users should take to protect their data online. Fintech scams are on the rise, and these fraudulent activities have cost Americans billions already.
Understanding that the threat is out there is the first step. But, ongoing education and learning is critical for protecting your online information in 2020.