security

How to Avoid Scams, In Person and Online

When it comes to taking your money, thieves and criminals are realizing that it’s just not worth bopping you on the head and stealing your wallet. Instead, they are focusing on outsmarting or confusing you. While it’s safer for your physical health, it can be devastating for your financial health, so read on to make sure you don’t get swindled.

Do Your Research

By far the best piece of advice is making sure you know what you are getting into. Sure, you might roll your eyes at people who have sent money online to a Nigerian prince, but maybe you’ve clicked on a familiar-looking email that tells you about some deals from a store you’ve shopped at recently. Online scam artists make a point of creating official-looking emails and websites so that you’ll go through the whole process of ‘buying’ something and eventually giving up your credit card number. This is known as a phishing scam.

It’s why buying a car from an approved and recognized dealership may be more expensive at first, but will be cheaper in the long run compared to buying from a motivated seller in a lot behind a grocer’s for a song. Of course, to avoid being put on the hook for features you don’t want or need from a salesman in a sleek suit, the best thing to do is read up on the car beforehand. So when you go into the dealership you can be very exact and specific about what you want and don’t want.

The same can be said about other recreational activities. Make sure you aren’t going to a shady nightclub where your jacket might get nicked at the coat check. Spend some time researching some London based Escort model Reviews beforehand, so you don’t realize you made a mistake when you finally meet face to face.

If It’s Too Good To Be True…

There’s a reason good phrases become old phrases. it makes sense that everyone is looking for a secret, a short cut, or a great deal. And while you can sometimes find these things, they are pretty rare, and sometimes only make sense in context. Great deals might only show up at a store’s going-out-of-business sale, and even then, unless you get there early, the good products might already be sold old. 

If a very valuable mobile phone or pair of shoes that has the internet buzzing is being advertised directly to you at a very good price, and all you have to do is make a deposit (with your credit card), chances are you aren’t lucky, but just a sucker if you go through with it.

Some scams aren’t even criminal, but just full of red tape and fine print. So when you think it’s ‘buy one, get one free’, you’ll find that it’s only for a limited line of products and that it’s one per person so you can’t get ‘ten for the price of twenty’. Having a realistic approach and not always getting your hopes up can save you from a lot of disappointment.

Online and Out of Luck

Internet scams come in many shapes and sizes. But they are still just words and images on your computer screen. That means you are in complete control of the situation, and what attachments you decide to open when you check your email. 

It can be deceptive since maybe the scammers got your email from a list of customers at an electronics store’s online database. And now you are getting a legitimate-looking email from a place you did business with. The key then is to not click on the email and first check the sender’s email address. 

Is it a bizarre string of numbers and letters? Chances are, it’s a scam. To be more certain, open up a new tab and go right to the business’s official website. If the announcement of deals on their website doesn’t match with the email you received, then it’s a scam, and bin that email right away.

Sometimes scammers aren’t after credit card numbers, but your contact list. This is because they will use you as bait, and send emails from your account to your friends, pretending to be you and say that you are in a real financial bind and can you please send money to this account. Now maybe some of your friends will clue in right away that it’s not you, but it just takes one concerned person to help first and not think twice, and suddenly the scammers have got their first catch of the day.

If You Do Get Scammed, Make a Racket

Obviously, no one likes getting caught with their proverbial pants down in a scam, and out of shame and embarrassment of looking like a fool, a lot of people keep quiet about it. But that just allows the scammers to keep going with the same strategy over and over again. 

The better thing to do would be to actually swallow your pride a bit and tell people. In fact, considering it’s possible that the scammers might have gotten ahold of your email contact list, it should be your responsibility to tell others that you might be getting scam emails from your account. On top of that, if you have any social media accounts, make a post that explained what happened, and what your friends should watch out for so it doesn’t happen again. Making it a learning experience for yourself and others can be a good step in feeling better about the whole thing.

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