Financial scammers, although not a novelty have become much more rampant of late. In Pakistan specifically, financial scammers mostly take advantage of low education and awareness levels. In fact, even the educated middle class often finds itself miserably scammed owing to a lack of awareness about safe online financial management practices.
At first, the concept of digital financial hygiene seem too technical and even intimidating, the truth is that it’s really not very hard to understand. In fact, just by identifying these 8 red flags, most people can keep their hard-earned money safe from financial predators.
1. A scammer will call you from their personal number
You might receive a call from an unknown number claiming to be part of an organization, such as a bank wanting your financial details. Or maybe a bank manager wants to confirm your bank details.
Always remember that every bank in Pakistan will always call you from their company or branch number. They will never contact you from their personal cell phone!
2. They will ask for your account password and email
Another common practice of financial scammers that you should protect yourself against is their demand for your online banking pincode, password, and/or username. Some might actually begin by asking you about the amount of cash in your bank account.
Come what may DO NOT GIVE OUT ANY OF THESE DETAILS! Pakistani banks will only ask for your ID card number to verify your identity. They will never ask you your email address, username, pin code, bank balance, or password. Ever.
3. They will pressure you
When a person resists giving out their details, financial scammers are known to exert pressure. They may insist that you must follow their instructions at once to retain control of your account. Calmly, tell them that you’ll go to your bank to solve the problem, so the scammer backs off. If the mood strikes, you can also simply hang the phone flat on their face without indulging in any further discussion.
In either case, you must inform the bank at once to ensure your account’s security has not been compromised in any way.
4. They will talk for a long time
No bank will talk to you for longer than 5 minutes unless you ring the bank seeking technical support. Anyone who claims to be a phone banking officer but indulges in random chit-chat is no phone banking officer, darling!
5. They will ask for your PIN code
This is super important! The scammer may send you a PIN code and ask you to repeat it to them. Or that they will request a code from you.
PIN codes are never to be shared with anyone. They only belong to you.
Any lapse on your part can give the scammer immediate access to your account, so be very ware!
6. They will ask about your family’s details
A financial scammer might ask such questions as your mother’s ID card or your brother’s cell number. Or even ask if you have a joint account. The minute you are asked such questions, don’t hesitate to end the call or call their bluff!
7. They may say that they want to do something with your cash
A scammer will want to “check” if their system is working. This may include transferring your cash to various accounts with generic names with the promise of “…returning your money after 24 hours.” Don’t fall for this! Dou chaar suna kar end the convo!
8. They may call you from your landline number
Some scammers will call from your landline to hide their tracks. A bank will only call you from the number you gave them. If the landline number is not what you have given to the bank, then anyone calling from any other number is a fraud.
Have any more tips up your sleeve to protect against financial scammers? Tell us in the comments below!