How to Identify Online Scams
Seen an offer that sounds too good to be true? It probably is.
Every year, thousands of us fall for online scams. Cyber criminals have developed countless clever tactics to gain access to your personal and financial information, imitating official seals, logos, signatures and email addresses to try and trick you. And they’re only becoming more advanced.
To help protect you from cybercrime, Opinion Outpost have put together 5 quick tips to help you stay safe online.
1. Sleep on it
Cyber criminals like to create a sense of urgency to get you to act.
If you receive an unsolicited email or message, don’t act right away but take your time to read the offer carefully. Never click on links or download attachments without stopping and asking yourself, “does this seem right?”
If you can, leave it overnight and look at it again fresh the next day.
2. Do your research
By performing a couple quick checks, you can oust the vast majority of scammers.
Start by checking the sender name. Does it look legitimate? If in doubt, always verify by contacting the company directly. Never use the contact details in the offer.
If you‘re on a website, check the domain name. Is the company name spelled correctly? Does the country code correspond with where the company offers its services?
If you aren’t sure, reach out to the company directly and ask them to confirm their address.
3. Watch out for money scams
If you see an offer to earn a lot of money for doing little work, you’re probably right to be suspicious.
Double check it’s legitimate by contacting the company responsible. A call or email should work, just remember to not use the contact details in the offer.
If you’ve been contacted by potential scammer, be aware of the unusual requests they tend to ask.
They’ll often demand money transfers or request you make online purchases and share the details with them. This can include gift card codes or pre-loaded debit cards, so be wary.
4. Don’t share your private information
Treat your personally identifiable information with care.
Never share private details such as banking and credit card numbers, your date of birth or social security numbers when you receive an unsolicited offer.
Also be aware of what you share on your social media profiles and who you connect with.
Scammers will often try to use personal information in your social profiles to impersonate you or others. Take advantage of the privacy and security settings offered by social platforms to control who can see what.
5. Stay up to date
As technology advances, so will cybercrime.
Staying up to date on the latest online schemes can help you take the appropriate safety precautions. Talk to your friends and family whenever you come across something odd and spread awareness.
Finally, whenever you seen an article on scams or cybercrime, give it a quick read. It could make the difference!