The government of each country is assiduously working hard to eradicate scams.
But, sadly, scammers are only devising more means to devour susceptible citizens.
Regrettably, many have fallen to their prey.
But you don’t have to be a victim!
Below are the promised seven tips on how to avoid being scammed online. Fasten your seat belt and enjoy the ride.
- How to Avoid Being Scammed Online Using these Tricks
- 1. Fraudulent Websites
- 2. Donation to Non-profit Organizations
- 3. Impersonation
- 4. Text Messages
- 5. Products Claiming Cure
- 6. Scammy Investments
- 7. Misinformation
- Final Thoughts on Preventing Internet Scams
How to Avoid Being Scammed Online Using these Tricks
1. Fraudulent Websites
These come in various ways.
For instance, it could be an IT-themed website that claims to help people work remotely.
Also, some websites claim to help the afflicted.
Scammers have smartly tricked some individuals into divulging vital information.
They disguise themselves as either IT experts, government officials, and helpdesk experts.
Also, since most companies’ contact information is made public, it’s already a fertile land for scammers.
It gives them the ability to have direct access to their prospective prey.
Attackers can call their victims and seek remote access to assist with setup.
All in all, what they aim at is to obtain sensitive data from your company.
When Covid-19 broke out, scammers designed an imitation map.
This map appears like Johns Hopkins’ dashboard.
Embedded in it is malware that steals a person’s credit card details and other vital data.
How can you outwit these fraudsters?
- Check if the Website’s Url begins with “https.” If Yes, the site is a secured website.
- Check the WHOIS Information
- Confirm the location information on that website and check the “Consumer Protection Agency.”
- Before you click on any link, Type the document’s heading on “Google” to know what people are saying about it.
- If it is work-related, communicate with your Boss first.
- Disregard any Covid-19 maps you find on social media. Don’t even open.
- Double-check any link before you click
- Don’t click on unsolicited emails, URLs, and malicious documents. Visit the website directly yourself.
- Don’t give attention to phishing emails that claim to have an origin from a medical organization.
- Stay firmly to the verified and approved Covid-19 tracking maps.
Pay attention to these tips on how to avoid being scammed online.
Thus, you can fight these engineering techniques.
2. Donation to Non-profit Organizations
Many people now demand gifts from folks to assist the less privileged.
While I was surfing a popular website, I stumbled on one too.
The techniques will be so appealing to your charitable soul.
These fraudsters take advantage of philanthropists.
Apart from the fact that your donations will be sent to a criminal;
You are also at high risk—you risk compromising financial and personal data.
For instance, these donation sites will place malware on your system.
And they can confidently have access to your card’s sensitive details.
How to Avoid this:
- Stay off Unrequested Solicitations
- If you’d need to make donations use already existing reputable charitable organizations you know
- Do some research online using these organizations
This is another tip on how to prevent internet scams.
Online scammers are taking advantage of the increase in the death toll from COVID-19.
They now impersonate health officials, tricking people into divulging personal information.
There are identified phishing scams where fraudsters claim to be World Health organizations.
They have even claimed to be the Center for Disease Control.
Divulging your data is highly risky and will have sad consequences.
What You Can Do:
- Never allow any stranger in your house, irrespective of the claims.
- Disregard any phishing email you get
- Stay connected to the right source of obtaining information
- If you miss certain news, search for it on trusted YouTube Channels.
- Discreetly report any case of impersonation. (Keep the contact details of your country’s Center for Disease Control at hand)
4. Text Messages
Expect to see more text messages claiming that you have issues with your bank details.
When you get them, put your mind at rest.
Any Bank issue you will have must be solved at the Branch office, not via the phone.
Any Bank issue you have must be solved at the Branch office, not via a text message.Tomvad
An expert, Hijazi, said you could expect more text message scams in the coming weeks.
They will use known platforms to lure people into clicking a link, installing an app.
Falling prey to one of these scams will lead to financial fraud and information theft.
During this pandemic, you can expect scammers to adopt different pretexts.
These include local warnings about the virus.
It also involves notices on quarantine cancellation or claims.
What to Do:
- Don’t reply directly to any malicious text.
- Treat your information like the way you’ll treat your eyes.
- Links in the text message shouldn’t be clicked.
- Delete those messages right away!
5. Products Claiming Cure
In developed countries, offers like this will come as an email offering.
You’ll find nothing other than a phishing scam sets up to rip you off and steal your information.
Scott Grissom, the chief product director at LegalShield, reports that we can expect more reports of scams like this.
Therefore, stay informed and smart.
As a consumer, you must steer clear of products that claim to cure Coronavirus and other diseases.
Gladly, researchers are working all around-the-clock to find a good and reliable cure.
In case one is available, governmental authorities will notify you.
For other ailments, be sure that drugs purchased have government approval.
What You Can Do:
- Pay attention to only verified sources of information.
- Report any individual selling such drugs
- Before making any purchase of safety gear, check the website. (Some individuals sell inferior, expensive, and used items even on platforms like Amazon and Walmart.
- Avoid sodium chlorite solutions.
- Don’t forward unverified videos that claim to have remedies to cure Covid-19.
6. Scammy Investments
Many who have been home for days now might struggle to do something worthwhile.
Scammers will take advantage of that. How?
They do this by promising an individual a higher-return investment.
They also claim that it is safe and risk-free.
Scammers are out in full force to capture individuals that aren’t informed.
That is, those desperate to make money.
There is no profitable and safe investment alternative without risks.
While this article isn’t preaching idleness, you just have to be very careful.
Yes, that’s why it’s one of the tips on how to prevent internet scams.
How to Identify an Investment Scam:
- Verify credentials
- Never Purchase “Phantom” Riches (promising absolute returns)
- Discard the “everyone is doing it” mantra (It comes with this story)
- It Rushes you. Don’t be rushed!
- Arm yourself with valid information
What to do if you are in Dire Need of Money:
- Borrow fund from an individual that offers a flexible payment plan
- Learn a new skill using a small part of the fund you borrowed.
- Manage what you have. You can practice living well for less.
Are you an investor?
Be watchful of notifications claiming to come from portfolio managers and fund advisers.
Being the last tip on how to prevent internet scams, you just have to be careful of misinformation.
Sadly, this is proliferating across the internet.
As stated by Hijazi:
“The tech company that is striving hard to clamp down on scams and inaccurate information hasn’t birthed any success.
“They are having a difficult time controlling it.”
There are so many motives behind the circulation of lies all over the internet.
There are lots of theories and propaganda.
However, you can personally fight against these lies. How?
- Only use the World Health Organization as your ultimate source of information relating to Covid-19.
- Delete or do not broadcast social media postings that claim to be from experts
- The Center for Disease Control and Prevention and WHO are still the most valuable and updated sites for verification.
Final Thoughts on Preventing Internet Scams
Who wants to be scammed? Not even an internet scammer!
Sadly, internet scams will continue to progress as long as scammers are making profits from it.
That means you should always protect yourself.
And frankly, common sense is just among the best defenses you have.
Are you working from home?
The way you handle information in the office should be applied at home too.
Take extra caution when visiting websites that are duplicates of famous sites.
Check into the domain name; you will find typo errors in the imitation site in some cases.
For instance, Who.com could be Whoo.com.
Be wary of anyone who claims to be a company’s helpdesk.
Call your IT department immediately if you need full verification.
Always update any software you have on your phone or the computer.
Use Multi-factor Authentication in signing to any software or services.
Additionally, utilize a VPN network.
This will help encrypt your data and keep your internet connection very safe.
If a person approaches an investment that seems too good to be true, don’t do it.
Every profitable business requires substantial risks.
If you come in contact with a pushy salesperson, consult a registered financial institution for accurate advice.
- Look carefully at the address of an email sender
- Never click on links in a mail
- Never open attachment from those you don’t know
- If it has a sense of urgency, be cautious.
- Never divulge any personal information to anyone.
Conclusively, scammers will always want to prey on you.
But with these tips on how to avoid being scammed online, you can remain smart and cautious.