Debating whether you should apply for an online loan? Not sure if the lender is legitimate and can be trusted? Make use of the handy tips listed here to protect yourself from scams and online frauds.
Thanks to the ease and convenience of internet banking, you can now avail loans from the comforts of your home. However, just like all other internet services, there are secure loan portals as well as scams.
Several hackers and scamsters are ready to take advantage of your dire need for money. They spot your vulnerabilities and look to make money off it. This is why it pays to “Be better safe than sorry, especially when applying for a loan online.”
When you land on a fraudulent loan portal or don’t take the requisite security measures, you’re increasing the chances for identity theft. It’s essential that you arm yourself with the right information to stay protected.
Here are the top ways to stay safe when applying for Online Loans.
- Master the Trick of Identifying Scam Sites
Make sure that you’re assured of the authenticity of a site before you share your information on it. Try to identify the similarities in design and structure between reputed sites. For instance, a reputed online lending portal will not ask you to pay an upfront fee before your loan is sanctioned.
- Share your Vital Information only via Encrypted Data
Make sure that the browser you use is secure. Always use encryption software for online transactions. This is a program that scrambles the information you send so that it isn’t accessible by malicious intruders.
Always look for the lock icon on the status bar of your browser. This indicates that your information is encrypted and secure.
- Use Strong Passwords
This one can’t be stressed enough. Even if you have the latest anti-virus and other security systems, your information is only as secure as your password. Always use a strong password, which is a combination of alphabets, numbers, and symbols for online banking accounts. Make it a point to change your passwords frequently, especially for your banking sites.
Additionally, you can improve the security by opting for OTP authentication. This way you have to enter a numeric code, which is sent to your mobile before you can complete the online transaction.
- Be prudent of what you Post on Social Media
Posting too much personal information on your social media networks increases your chances of identity thefts. Never share your account numbers, credit/debit card details on social media. Always double check before you post something.
For instance, posting your kid’s birth date can prove disastrous if you have that number as your banking password. So, be prudent and cautious while sharing information on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other sites.
- Double check the emails you receive
Many fraudulent companies have similar sounding names to legitimate ones. An additional letter or slight changes in spelling are all indicators that the firm you’re communicating with isn’t a legit one.
Here’s what to look for:
- Check if the confirmation mail you have received is from the company’s site and not some generic addresses like Gmail, Hotmail or Yahoo.
- Always look for the padlock icon when accessing a loan site. If the lock appears open, then it means that the information you are transferring isn’t secure.
- If your browser warns you that the site you’re about to visit has an expired security certificate, then it means that it’s no longer secure.
A Final Word of Caution
One of the most prevalent scams in loan applications is that the lender asks you for an upfront processing fee before you obtain the loan amount. Never make a prepayment to avail a loan. If a lender asks you to make a money transfer to receive the amount, then do not continue further transactions on that site. No legitimate lender functions this way.
Make sure to follow the tips listed here and protect yourself when you’re applying for a loan product online.