How To Protect Yourself From Online Scam? : Stay Alert!

How To Protect Yourself From Online Scam? : StayAlert! >> The write-up shares details about online scams and the methods to prevent them and stay safe.

COVID-19 new protocols for families to stay back home and social distancing means more and more people switch to remote technologies for shopping and staying connected to the world. 

Because of the Worldwide lockdown, more and more people are shopping online and even performing online transactions, making them highly susceptible to online scams.

People are spending more time virtually. They are likely to share their sensitive and crucial data online, like location, birthdates, card details, and even their social security number and bank accounts. 

Below is the quick rundown on online scams and How To Protect Yourself From Online Scam to avoid falling prey.        

What are the Types of Online Scams?

Online scammers are getting smarter and highly sophisticated when it comes to scam innocent consumers Worldwide. They use series of ways to scam online consumers, of which the most common type of online scam is Phishing. 

It is the type of scam where cybercriminals attempt to tempt consumers to share their personal and financial information in suspicious email threads, websites and other electronic communication.  They will pretend to be legitimate entities or family members to lure you and steal your details. Some of the other scams are:  

  • Identity Theft – Online fraudsters attempt to steal your personal details using different methods, referred to as identity theft. It may lead to huge financial loss and even legal issues. They steal your personal information, like card details, address, social security number and more, to assume the digital identity. 
  • Card Scams – Cybercriminals use different credit card fraud methods, and online consumers easily fall prey to these card frauds. The victims fall prey to the scams and share their card details on a suspicious website, and it gives easy access to criminals to use the card details for online purchases. 
  • Investment Frauds – The online fraudsters pretend to be an expert in finances and help investors get lucrative returns. But, there is no such investment option with a higher return. The scammers only need the payment information.
  • Auction Frauds – It is the online scam that revolves around online shopping. The victim pays for an item that they never receive, or the items are different from those advertised on the auction site.
  • Sweepstake Frauds – Online fraudsters send random emails or texts to the victims asking for a shipping charge to deliver a product or claiming a lottery, but the prize is fake, and there is nothing for delivery.   

Some More Information: Stay Alert of New COVID-19 Related Online Frauds

Unfortunately, online scammers are using the times of uncertainty to steal data and do online scams. 

Authorities of all nations have released a warning for consumers about the new text messaging scam where cyber criminals ask for social security numbers and bank account details to provide a stimulus check. Since employees are now working remotely, there are complaints about virus attacks and pop-up alert scams.

Some reports confirm malware’s spreading via emails, and consumers must beware of these emails promising to offer stimulus check and protection from COVID-19.

The Helpful Tips on How To Protect Yourself From Online Scam

Understanding the potential of cybercriminals is the first step. You must beware of all the common frauds that are circulating online and victimizing people across the world. 

Below are some key indicators that can help you stay protected and avoid online scams and frauds to a certain extent.

  • Think Twice Before Clicking any Link – Whether you have received an email, text message, or visit a website, consider checking the source. You have to check from where the text or email is originated and does it look legitimate. You must never click any link or open an attachment that you are not aware of. It may comprise suspicious details and malware, which may be injected into your system for extracting crucial details. 
  • Checking the URL – You must ensure that the website you are using for online transactions or shopping is encrypted. It must have “https” in the URL instead of “http.” The URL with “https” is considered secured and encrypted, and using such a website is always safe. You may also check the WHOIS of the website to know the owner behind the website and its IP address.
  • Review the Contact Information – If you are not sure about the authenticity of the email you are reading or the website you are visiting, check the contact information, like physical address and phone number. You must try calling the number to see if it is answered and by whom. If the number has a busy tone, it indicates that you are dealing with a fraud website. If you receive an email from a company, check the email ID. If the email looks suspicious and not matching the emails you received earlier, it is possibly a scam. 
  • Search for Online Reports of Scams – You must confirm further by typing the company name and scam together in the search engine’s search box. If any scam was attempted earlier and reported by some consumers, you might find details of related scams. If you don’t find any report, it is possibly a new scam or may not be a scam. 

You must not hurry up to share details online as fraudsters always want to hurry up. They may ask for a wire transfer and may threaten you. Legitimate websites or companies will never demand such things or pressurize you for immediate wire transfer. 

What Must be Done If you Fall Prey on Online Frauds? : Report Scam

If you fall prey to these online frauds, you must report the scam or scam activity to the state consumer protection cell or officer. If you have lost money due to the scam, report the scam to the local police station. 

Consumers must also report the bank and cancel the card or take action to prevent further financial losses. 

Conclusion

Hopefully, the helpful tips on How To Protect Yourself From Online Scam would help you avoid online frauds in the future.   

You must follow these tips carefully and never take anything for granted. If you think you are the victim of any online scam, report it immediately to prevent further financial losses. 

Have you ever fall prey to online scams? What step have you taken to prevent it? Please share your experiences in the comment section.

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