In a world filled with online scams, do you really know how to detect them? Even though online users are more skeptical than ever, that doesn’t stop scammers from trying to deceive them. If anything, they are stepping up their game. Instead of trying to scare you about the dangers of online scams, let’s learn about them. This way you can spot one immediately and not be their next victim. There are many different scams to lookout for, such as phishing, imposter, bitcoin and even charity scams. Scammers will only become smarter, so you need to as well.
Here are 8 ways to detect online scams:
1. Bitcoin Scams
These online scams start with emails threatening to expose someone to their partner. They usually say “If you don’t send me a $5,000 confidentiality fee in Bitcoin I will tell your wife what you did”. Recently, the scams have been targeting men and threatening their relationships. However, women have been targeted too. The scammer confiscates your passwords and demands you pay money. Then in the email explains how they need to send bitcoin as a payment. Or PayPal if they don’t know how to use Bitcoin.
2. Imposter Scams
Research suggests that millennials are more likely to lose money to fraud than older people. This could happen from an imposter call from the IRS saying you need to pay money now. This may happen due to the fact that millennials tend to be less informed about finances than older people. Making them more susceptible to imposter scams. Older people have experience handling finances and have likely encountered scams before in their lives. But they are still falling for it too. Meanwhile, young people are more focused on getting themselves on their feet and are often strapped for cash.
3. Phishing Scams
You have to be really careful with these, as they are tricky. The intention of phishing emails is to lead the user to a fraudulent website. If it’s a good phishing scam this website will be disguised really well. And it will look identical to the actual website they are copying. So when people are tricked into typing in their information, everything is now sent to the scammers. A few days later the user is confused as to why their credit cards have been used by an outside source or if their money is gone.
4. Online Shopping Scams
There are always people shopping so there will always be people targeting shoppers. These types of scams are difficult to spot because they appear as ads for a legitimate website which throws people off. Or they pretend to be an online seller to get your credit card information and name. The way you spot them is by their payment method. Can you pay normally with a credit card, gift card etc… Or do you need to do a wire transfer? That should raise a red flag.
5. Lottery/Sweepstakes Scams
This type of scam is exactly how it sounds. The user is tricked into thinking they won the lottery by bogus emails saying “You’re A Winner”. Of course, this gets everyone at first. They think it’s amazing and all the possibilities with all this money. The catch is they have to give their information to get the lottery or sweepstakes winnings. Sounds easy enough right? WRONG now they have your name, cell phone number, credit card number, and home address.
6. Fraudulent Text Messages
Scammers have turned to text for gathering information since it’s so easy. So, you get a message from your bank, say Chase for example, and it says your credit card has been deactivated. And all you need to do to sort it out is call the number in the text. NEVER call that number or answer a soliciting text message like that. You know what will happen when you make that call, they will blackmail you and your family. Instead, do a cell phone search on the number and report it.
7. Charity Scams
Scammers don’t have a conscious or mind harassing people while posing as charities. With these scams, they pretend to work for a charity relating to an illness. Most people have a hard time saying no when directly asked to donate money to charity. The scammers make it seem like the donation is going towards a good cause to evoke sympathy from the person. This is another scam that comes up more during the holidays, so be aware next time you receive a call like this. NEVER give out your number on the phone and say you would only donate on a website.
8. Employment Scams
I’m sure you’ve seen those scams saying you can work from home and make tons of money. They always promise a huge salary or a large investment return. You often receive this type of scam through your personal email address. Or sometimes through advertisements on a page. The only way you can legitimately make money from home is by applying through Indeed or other job sites to find remote employment. These employment scams and will only cause you to lose money in the end.
How Do You Prevent It?
Now that you can identify scams, how do you prevent it? To prevent being scammed you need to outsmart the scammer. This means not clicking on suspicious links or typing in your password to unsecured websites. If you see an email or text messages that seem odd, just delete it. Do NOT click on it or call the number back. Also, if you’re being threatened, call the police and report it, do not be another victim.
Another way to protect your assets is by using payment methods such as PayPal to prevent online shopping scams. Services like PayPal provide a safe and easy way to pay for goods and services. They create a barrier between your money and the company you’re paying. Making it more difficult for someone to directly take your money.
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