Be Alert: Common Online Scams and How to Avoid Them
The Internet has made lives so much easier. With the World Wide Web, transactions that usually take time when done manually can now be pulled off in just a matter of a few hours or minutes, anytime and anywhere. While the net is a powerful tool, it also easily became a medium for crime. Online scams now abound and cyber criminals have been victimizing hundreds and thousands of people across the globe.
Online scam #1: Phishing scams
"Phishing" is what people call you when you start snooping around somebody else's business, you know, "phishing ka nanaman!"
There's another kind of phishing that's not very funny though, it's called a phishing scam. The culprits are hiding behind computer screens, with different names, or posing as representatives of large companies.
How do they "phish" my information? It's easy. They can get information from your social media accounts – which is why it's great to limit information you show on your Facebook page. Make your email address, home address and contact numbers private. They can create a website page, which looks just like your trusted companies' (even with their logo!), saying you can get big discounts or promos if you provide your email address and your credit card numbers and pin code or security code for the so-called verification process. Think twice.
Take time to call the involved agency especially if you are being asked for your bank and credit card accounts, social security number, passport number, and your tax information.
Online scam #2: Lottery scam
Since more and more people have become aware of the Nigerian scam and have learned to ignore the emails sent to them no matter how emotional they are, the money laundering scam has fast evolved into the lottery scam. This also comes in a form of email informing you that you won huge amount money that you can claim by paying small fees. If you aren’t purchasing lottery tickets, you may not be fooled by this. If you are, then again, you have to confirm with the agency or outlet you purchased the lottery ticket from.
Find out also if there are government agencies near you where you can send scam reports. By reporting such online scams, other people will become aware of these and will less likely become victims.
Online scam #3: Get-rich-quick online scams
Tough times usually call for desperate measures. But you have to remember that we are now in the Internet age, so you should never believe offers that are too good to be true. Yes, there are a lot of ways to make money online, but you have to work hard to earn that money. Among online scams, this one seems to be an effective approach as it promises to address people’s need for money.
Usually, criminals will lure their target into filling out forms, fooling them that they can’t go on to the next step until they give out a set of information. The best thing to avoid being victim to such is to do your research. Ask some people who have been doing online jobs about the credibility of the site and the authenticity of the offer. It’s so easy to spot a legit site. Just go to their about us page to know more about the company—its profile, mission vision, and other information. The site should be able to explain well how you’ll earn from them. If it seems that the site or the clients promising you an online job can’t give you credible information about the company or themselves, that should be a scam alert for you.
What are the other deceiving online scams you know? Share it in the comments.