In this digital age, information is everything. Your social media account or mobile number can already give away important information, which fraudsters can use to dupe people into doing things for them, such as sending them money or further information they can use to get access to your personal assets through digital or online scams, one of which is the latest method is known as “quishing”.
You might not think that you’re going to fall for a scam because you’ve heard about all of these different ways that scammers try to trick people. However, even if you know what to look out for, sometimes it can still be difficult to spot them. This is why we have put together some simple tips on how to avoid becoming a victim of digital/online scams:
- Tips to Avoid Being a Victim of Digital Scams
- 1. Look for red flags
- 2. Watch out for deals too good to be true
- 3. Don’t give out financial information
- 4. Contact the company directly if you are concerned about a suspicious email, text message or social media post that’s supposedly from them.
- 5. Keep your computer operating system and software up-to-date with the latest security changes.
- 6. Sign up for fraud alerts from your credit card companies, banks and credit report bureaus.
- 7. Make sure that your social media accounts are set to private and consider sharing personal details only with people you know in person.
- Ways Scammers Steal Your Money
Tips to Avoid Being a Victim of Digital Scams
With more and more of our lives taking place online, it’s important to be aware of online scams. Scammers take advantage of people’s trust and generosity to steal their hard-earned money or personal details. The best way to avoid becoming a victim is by knowing what online scams look like before they happen.
Here are some tips to help you avoid being a victim of a digital scam:
1. Look for red flags
If you receive an email or text offering a deal that seems too good to be true, it probably is. If the email or text is poorly written, do not respond to it immediately. Look at the sender’s name and domain name carefully to make sure they are legitimate (e.g., @gmail). If you are asked for personal information in any context—even if it’s “innocuous” like your phone number—don’t give out anything until you’ve double-checked that the person asking is who they say they are.
If someone sends you an email asking for money without providing any details about what they need help with, there’s no reason why they wouldn’t just call or meet up with you in person so there’s no reason why this would need to be done digitally either; keep in mind though that many scammers will try different tactics so don’t take this one as gospel either but rather use caution when responding until more information becomes available later on.
2. Watch out for deals too good to be true
There is a saying that if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. This applies to anything from a deal on an item in the store or even your dream house. A scammer may try and make you believe that they have something for sale at an extremely low price when it is overpriced, stolen or simply non-existent. If you are unsure about any offer, research sites like Amazon or eBay before making purchase decisions.
3. Don’t give out financial information
It’s important to remember that financial information is the most valuable thing you can offer a scammer. The more information you give out, the easier it is for them to steal from you. So no matter how trustworthy or convincing someone seems, never give out your credit card number over the phone or online unless it’s through a secure site like Amazon or Paypal.
Don’t give out your bank account number and routing number by phone or email either (and definitely not via text). A wary eye should be kept on any claims that money will be deposited into an account in exchange for personal details like these—it’s more likely that they’ll just use those details to clear out all of your funds right away!
Social security numbers are also highly sought after by scammers—and because they’re so unique, they make thieves’ lives much simpler when trying to impersonate someone else online. Don’t give yours away unless absolutely necessary! Similarly, don’t share basic personal information such as birth date and place of birth (or mother’s maiden name) with anyone who may not need it for legitimate reasons; many scammers have used this kind of info as well
If you’re unsure about an email, text message or social media post that’s supposedly from a company and want to verify its authenticity, contact the company directly. You can often find company contact information on their website or by searching for their name in your browser’s search bar.
If you still feel unsure after contacting the company directly, contact your bank or credit card company to confirm whether they sent an email requesting personal information.
If you still feel unsure after contacting your bank or credit card company directly, contact the police.
5. Keep your computer operating system and software up-to-date with the latest security changes.
Keeping your laptop or computer operating system and software up-to-date with the latest security changes is one of the most important things you can do to protect yourself. There are several ways to stay current on updates, including checking for them manually, scheduling automatic checks and notifications, or using a third-party application that monitors and installs updates automatically.
- Manually: Go to the [operating system] app store (e.g., [Windows 10]) and search for “updates” or “check for updates.” This will show all available updates for your computer so you can update it whenever you want.
- Scheduling automatic checks: You can schedule an automatic check for when you want this done by clicking on “Options” when searching for updates in your operating system App Store (e.g., Windows 10). Clicking “Automatic Updates” will bring up a dialog box where you can choose how often these should occur and what type of information should be downloaded from Microsoft servers during this process; clicking OK will save these settings permanently until changed again later down the line!
6. Sign up for fraud alerts from your credit card companies, banks and credit report bureaus.
Credit card fraud alerts are a way for you to let your bank, credit card company and credit report bureaus know that your information may have been compromised. Credit card fraud alerts will flag transactions so the company can investigate before it processes a transaction that could be fraudulent.
Some of the most common types of fraud include:
- Credit card skimming – when criminals steal data from magnetic strips on credit cards by using a device called a skimmer or magstripe reader
- Phishing scams – emails that appear to be from reputable businesses but actually contain links to malicious websites designed to steal personal information
- Identity theft scams – where criminals use stolen personal information such as names, addresses, Social Security numbers and more in order to open new accounts or access existing ones
Make sure that your social media accounts are set to private, and consider sharing personal details only with people you know in person.
If you’re using social media for business purposes, keep all the information about your product or service off your page. Nothing is worse than clicking on a link that looks like it’s going somewhere important, only to get taken to a sales pitch or advertisement. If you have any doubt about whether someone is trying to scam you through their social media account, don’t engage them!
Ways Scammers Steal Your Money
There are different ways that digital scam artists can try to get your money or information. Scams can be carried out via email, text message, social media, and phone calls.
- Scammers may impersonate a company or organization to get you to give them money (e.g., asking for donations).
- They might also use another tactic known as “spear phishing” which involves sending emails that appear to come from someone you know but are actually from the scammer themselves.
Other types of scams include
- Phishing – where scammers try to steal personal information such as passwords and credit card numbers;
- Vishing (voice phishing) – which involves calling you on the phone pretending they represent a legitimate organization like your bank or credit card company;
- Smishing (SMS phishing) – which involves sending text messages designed to fool you into giving up personal information;
- Sim swapping – where scammers gain access to mobile devices such as smartphones by taking over their mobile phone number;
- Malware attacks – where malicious software is downloaded onto computers/devices without users’ consent causing damage or loss of data
The best way to avoid becoming a victim of a digital scam is by staying alert and aware of what’s happening around you. Take the time to think through any decision before jumping in head first, and always ask yourself how much it would cost if something went wrong.
If something doesn’t seem right, then don’t do anything! If it seems like someone has been hacked or scammed into sending money without knowing why report it immediately so that others can learn from their mistake too.