In this digital age that we live in, new technologies can certainly streamline our methods and practices to make them simpler. As we all know, there was a time when we had to buy everything in person with actual physical money.
Nowadays, with the invention of credit and debit cards, we can make purchases from the comfort of our own homes. Needless to say, some retailers like Amazon don’t have anywhere to visit in the first place.
While most people tend to simply use the internet to buy what they want, there’s another way to make purchases from home: paying over the phone.
This can involve having a conversation with someone on the other end of the line, or using an online service via a mobile app.
Generally speaking, it’s completely safe to pay over the phone, but that’s not to say it comes without potential risks. Read this article to ensure that you know how to pay safely.
Be The Caller
No matter what method you use to make payments, there are always going to be scams that you’ll need to be wary of.
A major red flag to look out for is when someone phones you claiming to work at your bank. This person could claim to have issued your credit or debit card and may request personal details. If you’re giving money away, you should be the one to contact the person or service, not the other way around. Never give your card details to ‘vendors’ who have contacted you.
Additionally, when you’re phoning the company you wish to purchase from, double-check that the number you’re about to ring is correct. You can do this by making an online search.
Check For Legitimacy
As well as checking you have the right details, always make sure that the merchant you’re paying is a reputable source. In other words, reviews for the vendor should be positive, with users encouraging others to rely on the service.
If you’ve been told that the source is not trustworthy – or worse a scam – than you have every reason to not use them at all. If you do, you may find you’ll be parting with a large amount of money for a product or service which never existed.
The best way to make sure a company is safe is to research them first. If they seem legitimate and reviews for them are positive (and are legitimate as well), then it’s safe to go ahead.
Double Check What You’re Being Charged For
Since a phone call is audio-only, you obviously won’t be able to see the products you’re purchasing. Once you’ve placed the order, you need to check two things with the vendor:
1) What you’re being charged for.
2) The precise amount of money required for the transaction.
Once you’ve confirmed your understanding of the sale, you can also ask for a confirmation number to keep track of your spending for future uses should anything go awry.
Don’t Make Your Card Details Public
Make sure you’re in a secluded area such as your home to ensure privacy when paying over the phone. The phone call itself is confidential, but if there’s anyone nearby who can hear or see what you’re doing, then there’s a possibility they could take note of your details.
Bonus Tip: Check Your Bank Statements
If you think that a recent transaction didn’t feel quite right, a good way to check for potential fraud is to look through any new bank statements that you’ve received. You can also check your accounts online at any time.
If there’s a transaction that you don’t recognise, then you’ve certainly fallen victim to a scam or unknowingly had someone steal your card details. You should then immediately contact your bank about this so they can prevent your card details from being misused any further!
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These were just a small number of ways for you to protect yourself when paying over the phone. If you’d like more accounting advice, feel free to contact us today at Count.