How to Avoid Online Scams
When it comes to the internet, there are dangers lurking around every corner. There are viruses that act as land mines on less established and unsecured websites waiting to ruin your machine, or worse. There are hackers trying the crack the code on your accounts trying to steal your identity and money, and they sometimes use viruses to get what they want. And, then there are scammers. Internet scams are as old as the internet, itself. They take many forms, so it’s in your best interest to know what to look for and what to avoid. What it all comes down to playing it safe. Here are some warning signs to look out for and traps to avoid.
First and foremost, much like with viruses, avoid the unfamiliar. This is the most important technique you will use to avoid scammers. For example, if you’re doing some online shopping do not buy anything from any website, brand, or company whose name you do not recognize. For example, if you’re looking to buy some bath bombs, you’ll want to get them from Bed Bath & Beyond, rather than giving your credit card info to unicornwizard.com. One of this is very real, the other one is just an NSP reference I pulled out of thin air on a whim. Likewise, if you receive an email, nd you don’t recognize the sender’s name or email address, do not respond. Feel free to delete the email, but do not open it or reply. This is the best way to ensure that you are safe from scammers, by simply playing it safe like a kid on the way home from school. Stick the normal route, don’t talk to strangers, basically.
Another way to avoid scams is by simply knowing the classics. The most popular example that has become a running joke in pop culture is “Nigerian Prince” scam. The nationality of the prince is subject to change; this is simply the most recent example I’ve heard. The gist of this scam is that the mark receives an email alleging to be from a prince who has a fortune he’d love to share with you, but only if you loan him a large sum of money first. This is ludicrous, but “too good to be true” emails are a surprisingly useful tactic. Then, there’s the sexy babe flirting with you who “just wants to talk.” This is especially useful for lonely men whose own wishful thinking blinds them to the obvious trap lying waiting.