These days pretty much everyone is on the internet, unfortunately, not everyone is a good person. Online scammers are prevalent all over the web, with the scams themselves frequently carried out via email, or online dating sites. To make sure you’re well informed, and unlikely to be a victim, read the key signs that someone is trying to dupe you.
You Get Offered Money
No, the King of Nigeria is not going to pay you $100,000. Let’s face it, there are a lot of email scams, with many sounding just too good to be believable. Pretty much any message, offering you money, from someone you don’t know personally, is a scam. If it is in exchange for doing a job or task of some kind, you can be pretty certain it’s not genuine. No one is going to email you out of the blue offering you a job or “business opportunity”.
Usually, the next step is to ask for some upfront payment to get the ball rolling. Perhaps the scam is that you have won a monetary prize, but need to pay a “transfer fee”. Just cease all communication with the criminal without paying a cent.
Your Personal Details Are Requested
Identity theft has become an incredibly prevalent and widespread crime. How do criminals pull it off? By getting people’s private information? They can then use this information to access financial accounts or commit other crimes under the guise of a false identity. Don’t be the next victim. Keep your personal details personal. Now, there are times that you will be required to give them out, such as for a job application, but just remember to think hard if the situation warrants it.
Your Online Love Interest Need Financial Assistance
More and more people are turning to online dating as a method to find love, and guess what, so are scammers, but for different reasons. They tend to draw in other users with heartfelt messages, before asking for financial assistance. The way to stay safe is to never send money to someone that you haven’t met before. A variety of emotionally engaging reasons for the money might be given, such as a sick relative, or the sudden loss of a job. It can be impossible to determine whether these are true or not, and generally, they are not. Steel yourself and take caution in the online dating world.
Remember, not everyone is who they say they are. You might be chatting with a beautiful woman or a handsome man, but really, their photos are fake, as well as their name, and all the other details on their profile. You can never be 100% sure who someone is until you meet them in person.
Messages Are Hard To Read
If someone says they are from the US, UK, or other native English speaking country, and they can’t compose a grammatically correct sentence, then chances are they are from elsewhere. Without pointing any fingers, it should be noted that the majority of online scammers come from poorer, less developed countries, where English is not the native language.
A good example is the common PayPal scam emails. These are supposedly messages from a prestigious international banking company, yet basic grammar and even spelling are incorrect. This makes them, and similar messages pertaining to be from reputable companies or organizations, easy to identify as scams.
You Just Have That Feeling
Learn to trust your gut. If something seems shady then it probably is. Lets face it, scammers are heartless people that have no qualms preying on the vulnerable or naive. Don’t be their next victim. Now, you will find that the most successful scams prey on basic human desires. This is often the desire for money or companionship. Again, don’t let their tactics affect you.
Now, if you do fall victim to a scam, the important thing is not to blame yourself too harshly, but instead, learn from the experience. Don’t make the same mistake twice, and be a lot more cautious in the future.
You should also report the scam to the relevant authorities. If it occurs on a dating site, for example, you should be able to notify the administrators, so that they can ban the scammer’s account.
These tips, combined with a bit of caution and common sense, should make you almost 100% safe online. Remember, always be on your guard, especially when dealing with someone you have never met. Scrutinize emails to make sure they are from legitimate sources and to reduce the risk of a virus from infiltrating your account. If you get a virus in your computer you may need a USB virus cleaner to help remove it. And lastly, never send money to someone you don’t know in person.
This article was written by Marty Algire and Corey Velan . Marty Algire and Corey Velan quit their job in computer security industry in 2011 to developed the FixMeStick: a product that simplified the problem so many of their family and friends were facing: removing computer viruses! On January 15, 2014, Algire and Velan appeared on CBC Television’s Dragons’ Den. They asked for a CAD$500,000 investment in exchange for a 20% share and each dragon made an offer. Their computer virus removal tool has become popular across the world.