The internet has been a place to do a lot of fun things, and at the same time it could be one of the most dangerous places to set foot on. A day doesn’t pass without someone falling victim to a scam. This could be in the online world or even physical. Scammers are on the prowl with fresh formats every day, obtaining vital information from people to deprive them of their life savings.
Most scam victims were sometimes those with the “it won’t happen to me” syndrome. However, this leaves them unprepared. Indeed, anyone can fall for scams, but when you prepare yourself with the best protection practices, you will quickly figure out if you are about to lose your precious information and money.
Scams target everyone
Everyone is a potential victim of a scam, regardless of age, income level, or social status. There is also no specific time when an individual can fall victim to a scam, it could be anytime. Scammers succeed because they present you with fake information that appears to be real, catching you off guard when you least expected it.
As technology advances, scammers are leveraging every opportunity that comes with it, using the medium to convince victims to give out money or confidential information.
Best scam protection practices
Be aware of fake calls and messages
Scammers can hardly scam you unless they are privy to your confidential data whether online or over the phone. This is why you should put up every necessary measure to guard your account. Stay on alert for convincing imitation of information from your bank, companies, and other related institutions.
Before you take any action, carefully check the message you receive to find out if it is genuinely from your financial institution. Don’t submit your security number to a stranger over the phone. If you have even the slightest doubts, find contacts of the organization on their official website and call them directly or verify the texter or caller on PhoneHistory.
Avoid oversharing your information
Social media is a place where you share certain information so that others can easily find you, but the risks of misusing your personal data are too high. This is why you should not reveal information such as your date of birth, children’s name, etc. on social platforms.
Do not share your phone number online even in messages, except if you are familiar with the person. Scammers can extort a wide range of information from you by pulling off a scam called SIM jacking. Through this, they can hijack your numbers and divert all calls. Avoid sharing information that could give a clue to your password reset question.
Shop online with caution
Many offers out there seem too good to be true. Avoid falling victim to these kinds of offers. Use a reliable shopping service. Be cautious when paying with virtual currencies, such as Bitcoin, as their transaction method and protection differ from other payment methods. This implies that the money sent is irreversible.
Deal with familiar people
You should dedicate more time to finding out more about people you just met online, especially if you are not sure about their legitimacy, in case of business-related contacts. You can extend your search by checking them with a Google image search to find out about their previous dealings.
If someone else is sending you texts disguised as a friend or known person, make sure you reach out to the right person first before taking any action. Avoid giving out your information to an unexpected request from unknown persons. Always remember that no legal institutions or organizations will call or text you to submit personal or sensitive financial data, such as credit card numbers.
If you receive any mail message with links from someone or a company you have business with and it seems real, avoid clicking on such links. You should, however, reach out to them via their legit website to find out more. Avoid making the mistake of calling the number they sent to you.
Improve your password protection
A good way to improve your password protection is by using dual-factor authentication – a security feature you will find with most service providers and companies. This requires you to punch in some characters even after you have successfully input your username and password. A verification code or text will be sent to your mailbox or phone. You can further strengthen your password by turning on this feature.
Use phone call filtering
It is advisable to save all your trusted contacts on your mobile device. This will help to make it easier to identify your callers. Avoid picking up calls from an unsaved number, especially if you are not expecting it or it is not important. Thankfully, there are call-blocking apps designed for this purpose. You may activate one if needed. They also come in handy if you want to block an unwanted number so that you are not disturbed in the future.
Avoid sending sensitive content
Sensitive content is one of the things to watch out for to avoid being scammed. This is a very common practice on most dating apps. Scammers will entice you with sweet conversations, and as soon as you lose your defense, they will request your personal information.
Next thing is to start intimidating or threatening you: “pay me now or I will post the information you sent me online”. When you pay once, you will continue paying, thinking it will end one day.
Verify unfamiliar e-retailers
Do not just purchase any item from any online retailer without verifying it, especially the ones you have not used before. You may verify the identity of a company by doing a web search. You can focus your research on scams, fraud, complaints, negative reviews, or feedback to learn more about the company.
Read about the company’s information on its webpage to learn more about its ownership and its country of operation. Knowing the business you transact with can help prevent fraud.
Anyone could fall victim when it comes to scams. However, putting up the best protection practices can prevent scammers from extorting information or money from you. Do not just click on any link without verifying the sender. If you notice any suspected scam, ensure to report it to the appropriate authority.