How to Avoid Tech-Savvy Scams
Many people who use the internet nowadays have been using it for years. In fact, you may have used the internet for decades, at this point. If you’re one of those individuals that grew up with the internet, or you started picking it up when it was in its fledgling state, you probably think you’re immune to tech-related scams. After all, when you think of people being scammed, you probably think of older folks and those who don’t know much about the internet.
Unfortunately, that’s a misguided stereotype. In 2017, Americans lost over $905 million to scammers. People under 40 made up 32% of those scammed. So, just because you’ve been on the internet for a long time, that doesn’t make you immune. Here are the top three ways to avoid being scammed by more sophisticated, tech-savvy scammers.
Don’t Interact with Robocallers
It’s happened to almost everyone: you pick up the phone and hear an automated voice telling you about a product that you just have to have. The voice says that you can press a number to be added to the do not call list. You press the button and hang up. But as the week progresses, you start getting more and more spam calls. What happened?
Essentially, you’ve been tricked. When you press the “do not call” button, what really happened was that you sent a message to the robocallers that said a real person was on the other end. You may have thought you were doing the right thing. But instead, you’ve just opened yourself up to more problems. The biggest problem here is that, with more spam calls, you’re more likely to fall victim to one of them. Just don’t interact; more than likely, you’ll get away unscathed.
Always Check Official Communications Carefully
One of the most advanced ways that scammers successfully pull off scams is by pretending to be an official of some kind. They may send you an email carefully coded to look like it’s from your bank. In actuality, the links lead to a fake website that steals your data. They may call you, impersonating the IRS and saying that you must pay taxes now to avoid being prosecuted.
The best way to avoid these scams is to always be wary of developments that you weren’t expecting. For example, if the IRS hasn’t made multiple attempts to contact you by mail or through other venues, it won’t call you. And officials will never demand payment made out to anyone except the U.S. Treasury. If someone requests your login information on a website, scan the URL to make sure it’s actually who you think it is.
The best way to avoid these scams is simply to pay attention to the details. And don’t let them shake you up with empty threats and false identities.
Check Other Internet Users’ Identities Early On
One of the most popular online scams preys upon people’s tendencies toward love. Catfishing is a common scam where someone pretends to be someone else in order to start a romantic relationship. It happens to an unfortunate number of people. Although these scams often focus more on the thrill of deception than on monetary gain, sometimes they are out to get your money. If an online romantic partner starts asking for money, you can use PeopleFinders to try and make sure he or she hasn’t created a fake identity to trick you.
On dating websites and many social media sites, you’ll see people’s full names, and often the area in which they live. That’s all you need to perform a background check and make sure the other person is telling the truth about where they live, their age, and other important life details. If you get a result that just doesn’t match up, that’s a good indicator that something “fishy” is going on. You can use the PeopleFinders blog to get more ideas on how to move forward if you think you’re being catfished.
No one ever wants to think about being scammed. In fact, when you know a lot about the internet, it’s likely that you think you’re immune to that. Unfortunately, more advanced, tech-savvy scammers mean that regular internet users are just as likely to be scammed as people who barely know how to turn on their computer. By exercising caution and using PeopleFinders, you’ll be more likely to avoid those scams.
image attribution: asnidamarwani – stock.adobe.comTags: Catfish, Legal Issues, Online Identity, Online Safety, Safety Tips, Scammers, Technology
Categorized in: Digital Identity