When was the last time you’ve written a check to send to a creditor for debt payment? If you can’t recall ever doing so, you’re like a vast majority of debtors in America today. Debt payments have almost gone exclusively online for many companies, and although convenient, it puts many consumers at risk for cyber fraud.
Most people are aware of the potential of cyber fraud but don’t often take the threat seriously. The reason for this relaxed approach to digital transactions is that online shopping has become a regular practice in recent years, and many consumers now feel safe inputting sensitive information online. While there may be a false sense of security from cyber fraud on a popular shopping website, it may behoove you to take extra caution when making payments on a debt collector’s site.
How Cyber Fraud Happens
Prior web breaches have shown that fraudsters have the capability of tapping into just about any digital database they choose, but there’s a reason why they primarily target lender and debt collector websites. Hackers are aware of the severity of debt issues in America. They also know that consumers often transfer hundreds and even thousands of dollars over the internet to debt collectors for monthly debt payment. By hijacking a creditor’s website to redirect individuals to a third-party payment site, they can easily steal mass amounts of money from unsuspecting debtors.
Another common, more traditional way criminals defraud individuals is through debt collection schemes. They’ll hack into a creditor’s database and gather the list of people who owe a certain amount of money. With that information in hand, they contact each person individually posing as the creditor or debt collector and requesting payment. Those who aren’t careful can easily fall victim to such schemes, but there are ways you can safeguard your finances.
How You Can Protect Yourself Against Cyber Fraud
Major lenders and creditors often have protection in place for consumers like a multi-stage verification process and numerous firewalls. Still, the potential for cyber fraud remains. Here are a few ways to protect yourself against fraud:
- Do not input sensitive information on insecure sites (those with http:// rather than https:// in the URL).
- Inform your debt collector of any unusual redirection when making an online payment.
- Request proof of debt from those who call from unfamiliar phone numbers requesting payment.
- Make sure you receive a payment confirmation message after every online payment.
Those who are victimized by cyber fraud are often unaware until they begin receiving relentless collection calls from lenders. Many of these companies go to great lengths to collect on the amount owed, even if that means violating FDCPA regulations. If you believe a debt collector is harassing you for payment, contact The Law Offices of Jibrael S. Hindi immediately. Our Florida FDCPA attorneys can identify every violation and get your debt collector to pay you! Contact us today for a free case evaluation.