The cyber world brought us a whole new lifestyle. There are so many avenues out there for everyone to indulge in. You name it, and the internet has it. It’s a utopia of ideas and a platform for rising to stardom. But, among the big players and the glitzy doors that show you promise, there are alleys of darkness.
Cyberspace and Its backdoors
The shady corners of the internet are where people lurk behind fake usernames and IDs that have no roots but pull you into the underworld of cyberspace and show you what temptation feels like by bringing you irresistible offers. They lure you by dangling bait. These, my fellow readers, are your scammers. They are those who feed off of your ignorance, if not innocence, and get away with it because they have no presence other than one that is parasitical to you.
The network of scammers
Scammers are all over the place, from every corner of the world, and they continue to exist because of the power they hold over you, in this virtual world of internet addiction we all have rooted in our system. Can we blame them or do we blame ourselves for being vulnerable? Regardless, we are the ones who fall prey, and therefore we must be on the lookout for these traps.
Potential scam zones
How do you know if you’re being scammed online at all? Well, for that you’d have to know where the potential of a scam lies.
Let’s start with the basics. Be aware of scams that happen through:
- Dating websites—Yes, people are social animals looking to find their perfect soul mate. Dating sites claim to help you in your quest for finding the perfect partner, but you never know when you can be cat-fished. The person on the other side may not be the one you think you know. They become your emotional trigger by gaining your trust and play on your feelings to get money, personal details, gifts, etc.
- Job scams—I simply can’t emphasize enough on this. Scammers are smart and vile. They pull info from the internet and analyze where your needs lie. Struggling for employment opportunities? You’re suddenly presented with loaded job offers you never knew you had a chance at! Do keep in mind that unless you’re contacted directly by an agency or a legitimate company, anything that drops in your email with a hundred other people in the CC is not reliable! Getting a job is hard, but if someone claims he can make you the prime minister of a country—do not fall for it!
- Prize money scams—Oh haven’t we all gotten this? You look at your email one day and have a sensational subject of an email telling you you’ve won a million whatever of your currency is! You didn’t buy a lottery ticket, you don’t remember enrolling in any kind of contest, or participating in a competition, but here you are—a stakeholder to all that money! NO. No one just sends an email telling you you’ve won all that money.
- Help me scams—Have you been suddenly found by your apparently long-lost sibling/cousin/distant relative or close family friend? Isn’t it odd that they’d send you an email about their situation in distress rather than asking if they could talk to you? Isn’t it strange that if they made such an effort to find your email, that they couldn’t figure out absolutely anything else about you? Anyone who pops out of nowhere asking you to “aid” them only through financial measures is probably not someone too much in distress.
- Deposit Scams—These guys know they can’t keep calling your bluff for too long, so they talk to you, they stay in touch with you and once you send them the initial deposit after what seems like a good period of time—they’re never to be heard from again. These guys are very patient and will wait for you to start giving in. This could be deposits for merchandise, freelance online jobs, online training or classes, or premium access to some kind of club.
- Credit Card Scams—With the economy not working in your favor, you end up looking to avail yourself of loans. Banks offering credit cards to free you from your debt could be paradoxical in this case. Banks conduct background checks and verify financial stability. What bank just hands out credit cards like flyers?
How to tell if you’re being scammed online or not
It’s actually quite easy, and laughable too, once you see the standard details.
- Money—This is definitely your most common way to be scammed online! If you’re being asked to shell out money for something you don’t even know about in totality—don’t swipe that card.
- Spot offers—If recruiters are giving you jobs without any kind of interview or calls—what kind of a human resource activity are they running?
- Work from home—Do they tell you can make up to $ 5000 a day for the mere price of a onetime deposit of $ 2000? Wouldn’t we all be super rich then?
- Short, abbreviated URLs—If these tiny URL’s redirect you a bunch of times to a somewhat familiar zone, don’t believe it. These recognizable websites you think you know are probably just bogus sites. They look similar but are actually masking the original websites in hopes of users falling for the facade and revealing personal information.
- Grammatical mistakes—One look at these paragraphs and you’ll realize that can’t be true. Checking for the phrasing of sentences can easily allow you to tell if it’s a hoax or not.
- Spam emails—If you receive all kinds of irrelevant offers and opportunities to a richer tomorrow, let’s say it’s better to stay poor. No reputable organization spams its potential employees. These things take time and are highly procedure oriented, so don’t suppose the offers that fill your email box, are true.
What do you do when you come across online scams?
- Ignore—Once you’ve spotted a number, you tend to ignore these suggestive mails and pop-ups by trashing or getting pop-up blockers. Be aware of any signs that indicate something isn’t right. Anyone asking you for personal details without a legitimate reason is not someone you can trust.
- Report—File a complaint. Take action if you think it borders on harassment.
Limit your presence online—Some of the reasons you could be targeted is due to the amount of information you share about your life.
- Research—If companies approach you offering you the career you’ve always been dreaming about, don’t jump at it. Research thoroughly and ask around about the credibility of the organization.
This is probably the best advice you will receive. Google is your friend! Use it to research anything that you think is a scam.
Here is a perfect example…
Some of our clients use the Wealthy Affiliate program to host their websites and to learn how to build their online businesses.
If you were to Google, “Is Wealthy Affiliate a Scam?”, you would come up with a host of results that would answer that specific question. Click above for one of the best from Jvanderlaan.com.
All in all, these scammers are completely helpless if we don’t give them what they need. As aware internet users, it should be our motto to perceive these imposters and put an end to their stints wherever possible.
Scammers have zero power over you if you don’t divulge. So beware and be careful!