Just simply register, and you’ll get an antigen test kit for absolutely free! What a bargain right?
No! If you are not careful, you may end up becoming the victim of a loan scam. According to the 2022 Global Digital Fraud Trends Report by TransUnion, the rate of digital fraud attempts soared by 72.6% globally from 2020 to 2021. Alone in Hong Kong, communities (such as online dating apps), travel & leisure, and financial services are named the top three industries that have reported the highest yearly percentage increase in the rate!
So, be wary about your online buddies and also do keep a wary eye on phishing sites, in case you have accidentally disclosed your personal information, and that genuinely worries you; you cannot miss out on the free Basic Credit Alert Service provided by TransUnion. Registered users of the service will receive an email notification in the event of key changes to their account, empowering them to respond immediately to protect their credit information and minimize any financial losses.
Just like many other shopping enthusiasts, Elaine relishes online shopping. The first thing she does every morning is to check out what’s new on her favourite e-commerce apps. With the deeper infiltration of big data technologies, your personalized ads probably know your preference better than your better halves. One day, Elaine was browsing around and checking out some antigen test kits and, a survey ad soon popped up on her phone, claiming to give away free test kits. Elaine filled in her information without a second thought. What was waiting for her, rather than a free test kit, was an overdue notice issued by some debt collector. Elaine was totally shocked. She called them and found out that someone had stolen her identity and got a loan under her name, leaving her indebted and the scammer grinning happily in the dark.
“Protect your personal information,” as they all say. As technology advances, one has to be extra careful to prevent data leakage. Elaine isn’t an isolated case but rather only the tip of the iceberg.
Below are other common types of online scam examples that are targeting individuals who are being penny wise and pound foolish:
- Similar to Elaine's case, an ad that purportedly provides free/trial products and services;
- A pop-up window that congratulates you on winning a prize, asking you to fill in your information to receive it;
- An online lottery of unknown origin;
- A package tracking email notifying you to fill in your information to receive a prize.
Credit Alert Service Offers Timely Stop-Loss Protection
To prevent unfortunate events, always stay alert about the authenticity of things you see on the Internet. There are two tips for you. First, keep your personal information extra safe, especially credit card numbers. Turn on transaction notifications, so that any transactions from unknown sources can be nipped in the bud. Second, sign up for TransUnion’s Basic Credit Alert Service and get notified, once your personal information has been used for any credit activities.
Upon important changes to your credit report, TransUnion will send you a credit alert. Such changes may include new loan application enquiries, new credit account openings under your name, new address and new phone number.
For instance, when a fraudster uses your personal information for a loan application, the bank or lender will check your TransUnion credit report as part of the assessment, yet under a false authorization. Subsequently, TransUnion will send an email notification to the Basic Credit Alert user, and both email and SMS notifications to a credit report subscriber. This will thwart the attempts by fraudsters to further appropriate your identity and minimize your losses.
TransUnion's Basic Credit Alert Service is available free of charge to anyone over the age of 18, who holds a valid Hong Kong Identity Card and is not an existing credit report subscriber. However, please be reminded that this service will be automatically terminated if you do not login to your TransUnion online account for 90 consecutive days. Even if you have applied for the service, it is best to login and check your Credit Alerts on a monthly basis.
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