Guard your phone number: 3 Steps to foil scammers and shield yourself online

To shield your phone number from scammers, know these proactive steps and explore Incogni, an automated service defending your data in the digital realm.

| Updated on: Aug 13 2023, 11:06 IST
BEWARE! Here is how NOT to check your PF balance; man loses Rs. 1.23 lakh in scam
1/7 In a shocking turn of events, when a man was looking to check his PF balance online, he was caught by fraudsters and lost Rs. 1.23 lakh! (Reuters)
2/7 This is how he lost money in this PF balance scam. He was searching for the EPOFO phone number on the Internet, but came across a fake phone number, according to Free Press Journal. He called it and the person there convinced him to download an app that provided the fraudster with remote access to his gadget. He also shared the code for making a payment. Before, the innocent man knew what happened, he had lost the whopping amount of Rs. 1.23 lakh! (Pixabay)
3/7 In short, do not check PF balance by searching online and clicking on random links or talking to anyone. Just remember, EPFO will never ask you to make any payment or download any app or even ask you for any payment code or OTP. So, if you want to know how to check PF balance online, we explain it here. (HT_PRINT)
4/7 How to check PF balance Via UMANG App - For checking PF Balance via UMANG App, you will first have to download the app and then log in by entering your UAN and OTP (one-time password) to check the PF account balance. (UMANG Twitter)
5/7 How to check PF balance Via Text Message – EPFO members whose UANs are registered with EPFO can check their PF balance by sending a text message (SMS) to 7738299899 by typing 'EPFOHO UAN ENG' using your registered mobile number with the UAN (Universal Account Number). It can be noted that the last three digits of the message represents the language in which you want to receive the message. (Pixabay)
6/7 How to check PF balance Via Missed Call – Members also have the option of checking the PF balance via call. Registered users can give a missed call to 011-22901406 from their UAN registered mobile number after which they will receive an SMS with details of the PF account balance. (Unsplash)
7/7 How to check PF balance Via EPFO website - Visit the EPFO portal and click on the ‘For Employees’ option under the ‘Our Services’ dropdown menu. Click on 'Member Passbook' and enter your UAN and password. Once you do so you will be able to see your passbook. It can be noted that people who have worked in more than one organisation will have different member IDs to choose from. (MINT_PRINT)
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Shield your phone number by outsmarting scammers with savvy online practices and proactive steps to stay secure. (Pexels)

In the digital age, safeguarding your personal data has never been more critical as there is so much more to lose, from money to private photos and other data. But did you know that, among the most vulnerable pieces of information is your phone number, especially when it comes to online scams. Here's a proactive strategy to ensure that your phone number stays out of the wrong hands.

Fortify Your Online Presence

By following these three steps (via 9to5Mac), you can significantly enhance the security of your phone number:

1. Clean Up Unnecessary Apps: Some applications request access to your phone number, potentially making it susceptible to data breaches. Dispose of apps you no longer use or those with questionable security practices.

2. Review Social Media Profiles: Verify that your social media profiles do not publicly display your phone number. Adjust privacy settings to restrict who can view your contact information.

3. Scrutinize Company Sites: Revisit websites where you might have shared your phone number, particularly those where you purchase goods or services. Either remove your phone number or update your preferences to limit its visibility.

An Extra Layer of Protection with Incogni

Consider subscribing to an online data removal service like Incogni, designed to help users eliminate sensitive information from various broker types, even those pesky People Search Sites that scammers often exploit to find unprotected phone numbers.

Benefits of Incogni

Developed by the cybersecurity firm Surf Shark, Incogni takes care of the complex removal procedures demanded by data companies. Its automated personal information removal service targets the data that brokers value most, initiating a cascade of opt-out requests on your behalf.

Incogni also handles the intricacies of extra data broker interactions, sparing you the hassle of dealing with rejection appeals. Its approach resets the process every three months, ensuring your data remains out of circulation.

From thwarting identity theft to staying ahead of fraud calls, Incogni provides comprehensive coverage against these digital threats. As the landscape of online security evolves, innovative tools like Incogni offer peace of mind in an interconnected world.

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First Published Date: 13 Aug, 11:06 IST