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How to spot an online payment platform scams from a mile away

Online payment fraud or scams happens, and while they shouldn’t discourage you from taking your transactions online, they should alert you to be vigilant. As the world evolves, so do these scammers and bad actors, who move to where they can find potential victims.

Both customers and business owners can fall victim to online payment fraud, and this is why in Europe, there is a regulation that places the burden of keeping scammers at bay on the payment platform provider. However, most of the time, because of tight security protocols, bad actors don’t try to compromise a platform; instead, they go directly to users. 

They do these by pretending to offer payment solutions while, in effect, they want to steal your banking details and personal info.

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Here are some of the ways you can spot online payment platform fraud:

1. Double-check the domain name to ensure that there are no misspelt words, missing letters or substituted letters. For example, it is common to replace “l” with the capital letter “i” so it looks the same to unsuspecting users.

2. If the offer is too good to be true, then it is likely, not true. For example, while many online payment platforms don’t charge fees for basic transactions, it will be unwise to trust a platform that offers monetary rewards for using their services.

3. Read up online reviews to ascertain if the platform is legit. If an online payment platform claims to have been around for a couple of years or months but has no online review, you should avoid it like the plague. Also, there could be reviews which turn out to be fake; you can verify by checking trusted platforms like TrustPilot or comparing the reviews to check if they sound fake or monotonous.

4. Browse the platform and check if it has legit features like an About Us page, working contact details, address, registration number and so on. Again, it may have some of these, and they turn out to be fake, so cross-check to see that you are dealing with trustworthy people.

5. Imitation sites or platforms are common among fraudsters. What they do is mirror the look of a legit platform, and if you don’t suspect a thing, you may have given out your details already before you know what is going on.

The main aim of fake online payments platforms is to steal sensitive data that allows them to impersonate you, compromise your account, and so on. They use robots that grab every detail you enter into their site, or even sophisticated ones can recognise your mouse movement and use it later.

Since payment platforms are direct to banking account details, it is only wise to use trusted ones like the KongaPay App or others readily available to you.

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Onwuasoanya Obinna

A reader of books and stringer of words. Passionate about Science and Tech. When not writing or reading he is surfing the web and Tweeting.