1. Asking for a very particular payment option
While scammers and online thieves have become wiser in the last couple of years, technology has become more advanced as well. This means that they can easily get traced if they're not careful enough.
Because of that, scammers often ask their victims to pay in very specific ways. Some ask to get their payment through cash only or gift cards. Others prefer wire transfers and cryptocurrencies because they are very hard to trace, allowing them to get away easily.
If someone asks you to send them money through such methods, think twice and inform your bank. Don’t send money to anyone you don’t know just because they tell you to.
2. Too good to be true
A lot of people struggle with money these days. That's why they like taking advantage of every good offer presented to them. Technically, there’s nothing wrong with that.
However, if an offer is too good to be true, then there's a good chance that it's just a scam. Scammers like showing really good deals to make their victims fall for their plan easily.
Whether it's an investment or a potential business, always do your research first. Don't trust anyone just because they said you'd earn a lot from it in just a short amount of time.
3. Poor design and message
If you receive an email from someone or a business you don't really know, take the time to scan the message. Usually, you'll be able to see obvious errors in such messages in an attempt by scammers to avoid spam filters.
4. Encouraging links
It's common for scammers to draw their victims through a couple of simple tasks. Usually, they would offer prizes.
How do they do it?
Some scammers ask victims to fill out forms and answer surveys. Others might show a simple game for their victims to play. Once completed, they'll be prompted to download it.
In such cases, it's a good idea to use a Virtual Private Network or VPN. It's a tool you use to establish a protected network connection, particularly if you often use public networks. Find multiple devices VPN for convenience. That way, you won't have to switch from one gadget to another.
5. A feeling of urgency
Most people who fall victim to scammers don't have the time to think. That's because scammers like giving a sense of urgency.
They would ask you to act on something quickly or you wouldn't be able to get the benefits. Some scammers instill fear and trigger panic so their victims wouldn't be able to listen to their gut feelings.
6. Telling what to do
Scammers are like robbers and thieves. They don't want you reaching out to local authorities for help. They would even scare you of all the bad things that can happen once you do.
They may threaten you to not call the police or tell your bank about a fraudulent transaction. They may even say something bad when you share any details with a colleague or family member.
Scammers and online thieves are very common. Fortunately, there are tons of things you can do to stay protected.
Be vigilant and be extra careful whenever you are using the internet. Don’t open suspicious links, particularly if they appear in an email. Avoid answering quizzes and surveys that pop on your screen. Most importantly, ensure that your devices are protected. Download good anti-virus software and always keep it up to date. Remember to scan your devices regularly.
If you accidentally click on something and you’re unsure if it’s a phishing link, change passwords right away. Talk to your bank to double-check for any fraudulent transactions and if there are any, remember to make a report right away.