Con artists will do everything to get what they want, i.e., to scam you. Thus, you must be vigilant in every way. Keep in mind that there is no undo button in this digital age once the damage is done.
Scams have warning signs. You need to notice them. Now is a good time to review this ultimate list of tips to avoid being scammed online.
Tips to avoid being scammed online
Do not click a link to your bank from an email
Your banks won’t email you to click a link to reset your password or login to view your account. If you received an email asking you to click a link, don’t do it. If you wish to change your password, you need to type your bank’s URL in the address bar.
You must be skeptical when receiving phone calls, email offers, or links on social media. Scammers are artists. They know how to make their message look legitimate. They can fake testimonials or doctor photos. It is also easy for them to create fake sites. Before you even respond, think it through. A quick web search will give you more information about the offer, and it keeps you from giving thousands of dollars to the scammers. Check out the Better Business Bureau and National Fraud Information Center to find out more about the company that sent you an offer.
Secure personal details
Before you discard your bills, make sure to shred them. Your mailbox must have a lock so that no one can open it, except you. Furthermore, you must never give out your PIN to anyone. Be careful about the personal information you share online. Keep in mind that scammers can easily use your personal details to target you with a scam.
Secure your mobile devices
Use password protection on your mobile devices and computers. Never share your password with others. Additionally, always update security software. And regularly back up your content. It is also vital to protect your WiFi network so that unauthorized users cannot connect to your WiFi. Then, don’t use public computers when accessing your online banking or providing personal details.
Don’t buy things from an email.
Scammers can easily dump spam in your inbox. They can offer you cheap watches, fake male enhancement products, and so on and so forth. To avoid being scammed, never purchase anything from an email. You may make an exception for sites that you trust. However, it is easy for scammers to fake their identity and pretend that they are a trustworthy company. Thus, make sure not to click anything from an unsolicited email.
Never let your guard down.
When you look for an apartment, for example, you must not let your guard down, even if you are using a reputable website. Review tips on avoiding being scammed when apartment hunting; make sure to test the water first. If your application has a sense of being rushed or that the entire process is too good to be true, don’t pursue it. This is especially true if the landlord wants you to send money without meeting him/her first or when you have not seen the apartment yet. Visit the apartment you wish to consider to determine whether or not it is the dwelling you wish to have.
Use credit cards and not debit cards.
When paying online, opt to use your credit cards because they have better fraud protection than debit cards. Do not use wire money transfer because it is risky. This payment method will make it difficult to get your money back. Reputable companies do not let you use wiring money method of payment.
Never pay for a prize you won.
If you have indeed won a prize, it is yours for free. That is if the contest is legitimate. You don’t have to pay money to get your prize. Never send the company a processing fee or pay for shipping charges. If the contest promoter said that you need to pay the taxes, do not send him/her money.
Be skeptical about free merchandise.
Although it feels good to receive free merchandise, don’t immediately accept offers that will send you a free sample. The product is free, but you will pay for shipping and handling. Then, to pay for it, you have to give out your debit or credit card number. Some companies would register you for an additional monthly purchase that can add up to your bill. And that monthly charges are difficult to cancel.
Ignore site pop-ups that state your computer has a virus
When you visit a certain site, you may see a pop-up stating that your computer has a virus. If you clicked that ad and installed the software, then your computer would surely be infected.