Avoiding Online Scams

In today’s technologically driven society, online scams are incredibly common, and it’s getting harder and harder to spot them. Scammers are more intelligent than they ever have been and know just what they need to do to convince you to transfer your hard-earned money to them. Instead of frantically searching for legal aid alternatives upon being scammed, be sure to avoid the scammers in the first place. There are various measures you can implement to ensure you remain safe online and listed below are just some of the online rules that you should always follow.

Be Cautious About Those You Meet Online

Unfortunately, that friendly face that you met on Tinder, Bumble, Hinge, Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook might not be quite who they say they are, and they may not have the best intentions. Instead, many scammers use dating apps and social media to reach out to their targets and form relationships with them. They know that their scam is much more likely to be successful if they’re able to emotionally manipulate their target into transferring them money. You can assess the level to which you can trust someone by reverse image searching their pictures and checking whether their friends list seems legitimate.

Examine Whether Your Purchase is Secure

All sites that are considered secure have “https” in the URL, as opposed to “http” so be sure to only shop at secure sites. Alternatively, you can head over to BBB.org, as this is a company checking website. Here, you’ll be able to read reviews about the merchandise’s quality and ensure that you’re not about to purchase counterfeit or cheap goods. Similarly, you should always look for a working phone number and a brick-and-mortar address, as this is usually a good indication of a legitimate business.

Don’t Believe Everything You See

As previously mentioned, scammers are getting better and better at fooling the public, even those who are quite competent in technology. The best scammers will imitate fonts, official seals, and various other details of established brands. An official looking website isn’t necessarily legitimate and paying attention to the URL is incredibly important, even though these are also getting much more convincing. In addition to faking websites, good scammers can also fake caller IDs, meaning you may believe you’re receiving a call from an official company when this isn’t the case.

Steer Away from Opening Attachments in Unsolicited Emails

Upon opening links in unsolicited emails, potentially harmful malware can be downloaded onto your device. This enables cyberthieves to steal your identity, which could harm you in all manner of ways. Even if a familiar looking email unusually sends you a link, you should refrain from opening this before getting confirmation that this is safe. A scammer could attempt to mimic a trusted email or even hack the account and take it over completely. The first port of call is always to delete the suspicious email and also block the sender.

Don’t Transfer Money to Anyone You’ve Never Met Face-to-Face

This is perhaps the most important rule you can follow when avoiding online scams. Whether it be a gift card, prepaid debit card, or wire transfer, these transactions are virtually untraceable, and you may as well have sent them a wad of cash. More often than not, you’ll never see this money again, nor will you be able to contact the scammer. If someone is trying to convince you to send money in this way, report the scam to the Federal Trade Commission and make your experience known online to prevent others from going through the same thing,

How safe do you feel online?

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