Scam artists use ingenious schemes that attack financial security for larger-than-life profits. It is why cybercrime has become a trillion-dollar industry. Millions of users are experiencing online fraud each year. Scam artists usually combine new technology with proven tricks to get people doing what they want, like luring people into sending their money, tricking people into giving their sensitive information or banking details.
We must try to avoid these kinds of scams that cyber thieves or fraudsters do, through proper education on the current trends and threats in cybersecurity, and successful integration of security protocols in the system. We need to be vigilant and invest in being a step ahead of scam artists by reinforcing security protection even in the absence of attacks. We cannot wait for an attack to happen before we follow best practices for cybersecurity.
We will be looking at these ten ways to prevent online scams:
1. Never send money to anyone you don’t know
Do not send money like an online merchant you never heard before. Instead, do business with companies you know and trust. If someone you don’t know asks you or send an email that involves paying in a credit card, avoid that scam because if you do, that money cannot be traced back, and it will disappear from you. If they require you to use wire transfer service, don’t ever pay these upfront fees of online scammers, even though it is a loan, a job, or prize money. Never let strangers steal your money.
2. Never respond to unsolicited emails, phone calls, text messages, or ads that ask for your personal or financial information
If you click these links from someone you do not even know, it will download malware on your computer, smartphone, tablet, or any other electronic devices you are using. Doing this will allow cybercriminals to steal your identity and take away your bank account information. Most of the emails you get from scammers are fake. Delete those messages and block the sender.
3. Do not believe what you see (when it comes to scammers)
Scammers are good at making things like official seals, fonts, caller IDs, and other details. So most of these things that look official and real are not always practical. Hang up if someone calls you for your money or your personal information. Be aware of these kinds of fake calls when it comes to encountering a scammer.
4. Do not share your personal or financial information
You should never reveal your personal and financial information to scammers that are trying to phish your sensitive info. Scammers usually send you through emails or call you, whether by phone, email, on social media, or even at your door. If you received a call or an email that looks suspicious and it concerns your account, call the credit card company or bank immediately to check on your account status.
5. Double-check your online purchase is secure before checking
Before you double-check your online purchase, look for ‘https’ in the URL and a small lock icon on the address bar. When you see the lock icon, it means that this site is encrypted and protected from cybercriminals. You should be specific on what place you intend to visit. Look for a brick and mortar address on the website itself.
6. Read your bills and monthly statements regularly
These dishonest merchant scammers will sometimes bill you ‘membership fees’ and other stuff that you aren’t authorised yet. They can do this so that they can steal your account information and run charges or commit a crime in your name. In case you do not recognise these things, contact your bank, card issue, other creditors immediately.
7. Create tough-to-crack passwords
Using simple passwords like ‘12345’ or any other more straightforward form of passwords will not work because hackers will easily crack those passwords. For hackers to not reach your devices, create passwords that are longer than eight letters, up to twenty characters. It includes the websites that you visit. However, it might be difficult for you to remember a 20-character password? Write it down on a piece of paper, or use programs like RoboForm or LastPass to help you remember the passwords you have made.
8. Never play a foreign lottery
You should never get tempted by messages from scammers you don’t even know. Never believe that these messages from scammers would say that you have won, and you have to pay for taxes, fees, or customs duties to collect your prizes. If you believe these messages and sent them your money, they will run away, and you won’t get it back. Playing a foreign lottery is a way of losing a large amount of money.
9. Be aware of downloading software from pop-up windows
Be aware of what you download online from pop-up windows that appear, and it claims that your computer is unsafe. Malicious software (malware) will enter when you click on the link in the pop-up to start the ‘system scan’ and damage your operating system.
10. Install antivirus and spyware protection
You should install an antivirus and spyware protection software for your safety when hackers might install malware on your devices. When you installed that protection software, turn on the auto-updating feature to make sure the software is always up to date.
It is essential to prevent yourself from scammers around the world that are trying to scam millions of people’s devices and steal their bank information. You should be aware of messages and calls from people you do not even know, which will lead you to a scam. Never believe these things that look convincing that online scammers make and trick you into revealing your bank account. Always learn when to avoid these kinds of scams online.