Nowadays almost everyone is on the internet, which makes the perfect place for scammers to find victims. Don’t be the next one. By using diligence and common sense you will be able to keep yourself safe from these unsavory people.
Don’t Be Coaxed By Email Scams
Even the savviest internet users can get fooled by these emails. Scammers constantly try different methods to try and coax money out of potential victims. A popular method is the sending of bogus PayPal emails. These pertain to being from the well-known financial company, often requesting you to solve some “issue” with your account. A link is then supplied, however, this takes you to a dummy page. If you proceed to enter your login credentials, the scammers can then steal them and use them to access your account on the real PayPal site.
Take Caution When Sending Money
If you’re shopping online or even doing business, you want to be careful how you spend money. Credit cards have built-in payment protection that should keep you safe in most situations. PayPal is also a universally recognized and extremely secure payment system. What you really need to look out for is people requesting money via the Western Union or direct bank transfer. If you use these methods to send money internationally you may not be able to recover the funds if it is, in fact, a scam.
Online Dating Scams
Online dating sites are a haven for scammers. They have no qualms with taking advantages of people’s quest for love. Many set up fake profiles and then use them to garner attention from other members. Once they have built up some rapport they will usually ask for financial assistance, giving some sort of emotional reason for the money, such as for a sick family member. NEVER send money to anyone you meet on a dating site and have never met in person.
It’s usually quite easy to spot a fake profile. Scammers often use photos found online. Secondly, they are often from poorer, less developed countries. This means you can also identify them by their language abilities. For example, if you are chatting with a gorgeous person whose profile says they are from the US, but they have trouble stringing together a sentence in proper English, then it may be a con.
Most dating platforms are diligent in removing dodgy accounts. If you think someone is trying to scam you, report it to the site’s administration. You don’t want someone more naive than you falling victim.
Do A Background Check
Whether it’s for shopping, a job, or any other reason, don’t deal with a company’s website if something seems amiss. Some websites will require you to enter your personal data and then sell it to third parties. Others may spam your inbox with scam emails. You can very easily research companies online to find out if they are legitimate. Google really is your best ally for carrying out these checks. The search engine is also very diligent in removing scam sites from its results.
Lock Down Your Personal Details
You want to keep your personal details personal. Always be careful when posting on forums and social media. There is really no need to advertise details like your address, date of birth, and telephone number. Scammers can use this information for a variety of reasons, including identity theft.
Remember, if you post on public forums, anyone can view what you write. Always use an alias and never give away anything personal. These forums are a lot riskier than Facebook, where only your friends can see your info. Still, you should also take full advantage of Facebook’s privacy settings.
Fortify Your Password
A weak password can give scammers access to your email, Skype, and social media accounts. They can then send messages to your contacts pertaining to be you. In this case, they will be attempting to scam your family and friends. Don’t let this happen. Make sure your accounts are fortified behind a strong password. This should be at least 8 characters, with a mixture of numbers, lower and uppercase letters, and special characters. Never include personal details like your name or date of birth.
Scammers are heartless people who have no qualms about preying on the naive. By staying smart and if you review what you’re doing, you’ll remain safe from their tricks. Just don’t be overconfident and think that a scam could never fool you. There are so many variations, with new ones cropping up every day. By taking these tips into consideration, as well using common sense, you will be able to stay safe whenever you are online.