Online or offline payments have been made super convenient for most of us that have WeChat Wallet. The risk of online payment is that hackers can easily get to your account and take your money, even the money you have stored in the bank. The other risk is having certain people pose as company representatives or specific vendors who ask for money in exchange for a product or service, then immediately run off with the money. Don’t lose your hard-earned money to these nefarious people! Here are some things to keep in mind when using WeChat (Alipay, online payments):
Really, Don’t Add Strangers
This the fastest way for your system to get hacked. Adding strangers you have met in groups without prior information about them increases your likelihood of getting your account wiped clean. Ask in the group what the person wishes to discuss, if the reason is legitimate and you have asked around about them, then you can add the person.
Create an Online Shopping Account
The good part about living in China is that people can have more than one bank account and opening a new one can be done with minimal fuss. It’s advisable to open a new account that is specially used for online shopping and WeChat. The main reason is that if your account is hacked, they only get a few kuais and cannot clean out your entire bank account.
Change Your Pin Regularly
You need to change your pin as frequently as possible, especially if you are using your wallet (or online shopping) account regularly. This is to make it hard to be predictable. There are password generators you can use to avoid using birthdays, names, and other personal indicators.
Beware of Con Artists
Want shoes? Ask in a group, and lo and behold you will receive a contact to add. That person will even ship it to your door! There are both genuine vendors and con artists in WeChat groups. The vendors who ask you for full transfer of payment before figuring out the logistics should have your alarm bells screaming. I have had a few friends who have lost their cash by using these sellers, for as soon as they transferred money over the seller blocked them. If the vendor keeps insisting for fewer questions and quicker payment, then you should probably wait and get another lead.
Don’t Click on Suspicious Contacts
If you transfer large amounts or money via WeChat, you might find an odd contact request from someone that doesn’t have a name, WeChat ID, or photo–don’t click on this contact. The contact is malware used to copy information when you input it.
Don’t Use Public Wi-Fi
Well, this is going to be very hard to accomplish. But when conducting transactions, it’s advisable to use your mobile data rather than an open public Wi-Fi, as public Wi-Fi can be easily hacked, and your information could be just as easily stolen.
Be cautious, stay vigilant, and pay happily!