Scammers, fraudsters, and spammers are always trying to find new ways to get your money or personal information through the internet. This can be devastating if you’re taken in by these unscrupulous individuals. Thankfully, there are steps you can take to avoid these digital tricksters, including the five ways listed below. If you follow these tips, you’ll have a much better chance of avoiding being scammed online!
1) Check Email Address
Protect yourself by making sure you’re not giving out your personal information to a spammer or fraudster. Go directly to their website, check out their social media profiles, look up reviews of any business they recommend—and always send them an email first. It only takes a few seconds to make sure someone is legitimate.
2) Beware Phishing
If you receive an email that seems too good to be true, it probably is. That’s because it was most likely created by a spammer trying to get your personal information, such as account numbers or passwords. If you get an email like that, don’t even click on it—just delete it right away. Remember: just because something looks legit doesn’t mean it is! So if you have any doubt about whether an email is legitimate, avoid opening it.
3) Don’t Panic
It’s easy to panic if you think you’ve been scammed but don’t. If it turns out that a scammer has taken your money, they are unlikely to do anything else with it—after all, why would they? Instead of panicking, take a deep breath, review what happened, check your records (don’t assume), and report any fraudulent activity on your account to your bank immediately.
4) Keep Your Account Info Private
Too many people make their social media profiles public—this is an easy way for spammers and scammers to steal your identity. Make sure you’re only connected with your closest friends on Facebook, don’t share where you live on Twitter, and turn off any location-sharing apps like Foursquare. Don’t post pictures of your debit card or driver’s license number online, either. Use a credit card if you can when shopping online.
5) Be Skeptical
The easiest way to tell if something’s fishy is through your gut. If something doesn’t seem right, dig into it; don’t just go along with it. While most sellers are genuine, there are many fraudsters and scammers who want nothing more than your money. Look out for yourself by following these five helpful tips!