Do you know someone who had been victimized by online scam or fraud? Personally, I know some people who fell as a victim of online scam. They had lost a considerable amount of money because of that scam.
Because of this reason, I would like to discuss in this post some tips on how to avoid becoming a victim of online scams. Just like what a popular saying endorses, prevention is always better than cure. Prevention of online scam is always better than fixing the problem in the end.
What is an Online Scam?
From the word itself, you can get an idea what it is. An online scam is a fraud done with the use of Internet or perpetuated around the web. Normally, it is done using social media like Facebook, Twitter or the like; email, or bogus websites.
Some of the most common examples of online scams are fake paid surveys, phishing emails, bogus work-from-home site, and gambling sites. Beware of these kinds of sites and activities.
Tips on Preventing Online Scams
No one wants to be a victim of scams because it can lead to loss of money or properties. Therefore, it is very important to know how you can spot an online scam and avoid it so you will not fall as a victim. Here are some tips that you can do to avoid an online scam.
1. Do your own due diligence
Is it too good to be true? Maybe it is a scam. How will you know? You should research about it. I’m sure the Internet has an answer about your question or has information about the company you are looking for.
In addition, if an investment is offering a very high interest or return, you should doubt about it. Another strategy of online scam is offering you a guarantee that your money will earn more. In this case, don’t believe because any investment has no guarantee that you will earn because it depends on many factors that cannot be controlled.
Do your own due diligence and research first about the company before you put your money into it. Don’t rush about your decision. Understand what you are going into.
2. Don’t entertain any suspicious email
Two weeks ago I had received an email from DHL informing me that they cannot send a package to me because my address was unknown. So DHL email me about it telling me to track the package through the tracking code attached in the email. However, when I open the attached file, it is not a tracking details but an executable file which needs to be downloaded and installed to my computer.
Good thing, my computer has anti-virus/malware so downloading was not completed. I’m assuming it is a kind of malware that can damage my computer or worst, can get my personal information.
At first, I already have a suspicion that it is a phishing email because in the first place, I am not expecting any package that will be sent to me. If someone wants to send me a package, I think she will inform me first about it.
3. Never share your credit card and bank account information over the Internet
Never share or disclose your credit card and bank account information over the web because there are lots of people uses the Internet to steal financial data from someone and then use it to their criminal activities. If you are a type of person who likes to buy stuffs from online stores, it is better to use PayPal as a payment method rather than directly use your credit card. PayPal is more secure way to pay online than using you credit card directly.
If someone wants to know your credit card number or your bank account, never give them even if they are introducing themselves as your card or bank company. Usually, credit card companies and banks don’t ask for your financial information over the web. Sharing is good but not with your credit card.
4. Verify the authenticity of the website you are dealing with
Many phishing sites are now perpetuating over the Internet. They look very similar to the true website of your bank or credit card but they have different URL address. So it is very important that you know the exact URL of your online banking or the bank itself. Better, you should bookmark it for future use.
If you are not sure about the website of your bank, use Google search so you can find the right website. Normally, Google will place the authentic site at rank 1 because it already trusted that site. Always be alert during your online activity.
5. Don’t be tempted by quick money
I believe many people are victimized by online scams because of the temptation for quick money. Almost all scams have these tactics and will tell you a sense of emergency so you need to take an immediate action or else it will be gone forever.
Avoid the temptation for quick money because it often leads to scam. The most common form of quick money gimmicks are winning the lottery (even though you didn’t bet), US Green card visa lottery, winning an ATM card with millions of dollars and many more.
It’s very hard to get back your money when you fall to online scams so it is better to be safe than sorry. Always take precautions when dealing with someone online especially if the transaction involves money or your financial information. Be vigilant and research first the company you are dealing with.
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