Photo by Andrey Sayfutdinov, courtesy shutterstock.com
You can find scams anywhere: online and by email, by phone or text, and even face to face. Fraud continues to grow because people keep falling for it. So you stay profitable for fraudsters. Because of this, scams are unlikely to go away anytime soon.
You may not be able to prevent fraud. But at least you can make sure you don’t fall prey to anyone. There are a variety of scams out there that differ in terms of the details. However, there are a few basics to keep in mind that can help you protect yourself from most scams.
Email and Website Fraud
The anonymity of the internet has made it a haven for scammers. Emails in particular have made it even more convenient for “African princes” to ask for your help in bringing millions of dollars to America, or to tell you about the raffle you claimed to have won. All you have to do is give them your bank details, social security number, etc.
Hopefully you know better than to fall for these old school scams. But email scammers (also known as “phishers”) are nothing if not adaptable. In addition to the more awkward efforts mentioned above, there are other more sophisticated approaches such as: B. Official-looking communications from your bank, boss, or government. However, the links in such emails can actually lead to fake websites or download malware onto your computer.
How to Avoid becoming a victim of email phishing scams:
- Do not click anything and do not reply to the email.
- Hover over links to see if they go to legitimate websites.
- Check the sender’s email address.
- Pay attention to the tone and grammar of the email itself for errors.
- Contact the alleged sender directly to check the legality of the email.
For example, let’s say you randomly click on a link in a suspicious-looking email and land on a legitimate website. But take a closer look. You may be on a fake website that looks official but is really just a copy designed to trick you into logging in or entering other private information.
As with email, watch out for subtle errors in terms of color, logo, or content. In the main search bar, look for a padlock icon next to the URL. Its presence indicates that the site is safe, while its absence indicates the opposite.
Photo by ronstik, courtesy shutterstock.com
Phone call & SMS scam
This phone number that calls or sends an SMS may sound familiar to you. But are you sure you really want to communicate with someone? Yes, it could be someone you know or a company you do business with. Or it could be a scammer. Nowadays, scammers have the ability to forge phone numbers and text numbers. This way they can call or text messages across the country but look like they are there for you.
Such phone calls or texts are almost exactly like a phishing email. Scammers want money or information that they can get money with. They will try to obtain valuable personal or business information directly from you. Or they could trick you into giving them access to your device or network, where they can get the information or the money themselves.
If you are not sure, do not answer a call or immediately reply to a text. Try to check the legitimacy of an unknown phone number with a reverse phone search. Such a tool can show the real owner behind the number.
Turns out the caller or copywriter is someone you recognize, great! If the number is found to be a scam, you can report the number to the FCC or any number of phone fraud reporting sites to try to stop it.
Personal scams are not as common as electronic scams these days, but they still happen. Personal scammers are confident – they’re not afraid to look you in the eye – and they set out to confuse you and pressurize you with quick, persuasive conversations. They use things like natural disasters, homeless children or abused animals to play off your emotions and take your money.
Before providing any payment information, make sure that you are giving something to a legitimate charity and that the person you are speaking to is a real representative of that charity. For the former, several charity watchdog sites are online; Just look on the charity name to see if they are real and effective in their mission. For the latter, contact the charity directly to confirm that the person you are speaking to is really working for them.
If you want to identify and avoid fraud, you should always approach new or unknown contacts with caution. This doesn’t mean you have to feel paranoid that everyone is out to get you. You don’t have to be cynical either. But you should be smart.
Never let yourself be pressured to give information or money. Take the time to do the necessary due diligence so that you feel confident and confident that you are dealing with legitimate people or businesses. Information is your greatest weapon against scammers and can help you protect your hard earned money and privacy.