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Don’t be Conned: Avoid being Scammed Online!

No one likes having the wool pulled over their eyes. Scammers, or con-men (read con people) manage to do this with the thickest wool possible. Make sure you pull the wool away and don’t be conned.

Fortunately I have never been conned. I guess I am too cynical! Cynicism about anything that can cost you money and is advertised as the best thing since sliced bread. Or perhaps the greatest thing since the last greatest invention.

I am giving you information about avoiding online scam possibilities however, all of the issues mentioned here can be used for life in general.

Can you be conned?

Yes, everyone on earth can be conned. The real question is will you be conned. The answer to this is ‘only if you let the con-artist succeed’. So I suggest you prepare yourself and don’t be susceptible to those ‘get rich quick’ schemes! If you do find one that works, please let me know. I don’t expect I will hear this from you.

Unfortunate Targets

Many older people are targeted by scammers. You hear of them being advised their roofs are deteriorating and they can fix them. For a reasonable (ha) price too! They need some money upfront for materials.

Firstly if they are honest companies they won’t need money upfront. And secondly, these oldies will never see them again.

Another horrible scam is those done on bereaved people. At, most likely, the worst time in their lives con people hit on them. It is unlikely the bereaved will even cotton on to this so it would be wonderful if friends look out for these scammers and report them.

Like most things in life, helpful support is most welcome. So keep your eyes out for any sort of scam perpetuated on these targets, both digitally or physically.

Why do Scams Work.

The answer to this, that most of us are very trusting people. We think no-one will do this to us. Unfortunately this is WRONG!

People who are cons have always presented themselves as well versed, respectable souls. That’s why scamming has become an art form. They make their con look extremely real and rewarding. Modern technology makes this practice a very profitable career.

After all we all like presents and a good thing always looks like a really nice present. Especially if we can make millions in seconds. Well not this rewarding but it might as well be for all it’s worth.

Why would anyone give you something like this? If most people who accepted the scam actually made money the dollar would continually devalue. I say ‘What’s the Point’! There is none because it isn’t going to WORK.  Well maybe like some countries you could use the money for wallpaper.

Unfortunately, people often act on the spur of the moment and commit to a con. And that is why these scams work! So my advice is always Play it Safe.

How do You Shield Yourself?

Acknowledging that scams exist is the first step. The second is always keeping this in mind. Well the first should be easy as there is so much news on the scams going on all around us. But people everywhere are still falling prey to it.

Here are somethings you can do: 

Keep an eye on the ‘too good to be true’ statements whether written or spoken.

Never provide any information over the phone or internet unless you are 100% sure of the person at the other end. Technically known a phishing as are many of the items mentioned here. Phishing is part of Social Engineering, which tricks people into giving out information that should never be given to anyone they don’t know really well.

Remember service providers and banks (any money institution) will not ask you for details. Remember they already have them. The responsibility for changes in your life is yours. You need to contact them to instigate required actions. And most certainly, if someone does mention a name, such as your internet  provider or bank, and asks for remote access to your computer or device tell them to ‘get lost’ (my words are a bit stronger.)

Do a scam search! This is how I identified the only potential scam I was faced with. I did a scam search and found nothing. So I decided to feel out the offer BUT I set a low budget, something I could afford to lose.

Almost immediately the add-ons started coming and they all cost. Now the tricky thing here was those I saw were all reputable companies. The fact that add-ons were never mentioned finished my search so I retracted my feelers and I scooted out.

I did a second scam search and found one very recently published. The moral here is, if you can find nothing out and want to proceed, set a low budget and cut those losses if this happens to you.

Do a person or organisation check.

If contact comes from a friend, and it seems odd, contact them. It’s probably not from them and I am sure they would really appreciate you letting them know. This way they can remove it and block the sender.

Be wary on social media sites. You can share some information but don’t share any critical items. In fact I have friends that go to extremes on this one. One friend, based on their social media birth date, is 116 years old. And never a letter from the Queen!

Make sure all your personal information is secure. Lock it up tight. With all the identity theft going on and now so popular, check out you accounts every day. This way if someone does pull this one on you, action can commence immediately to stop the problem.

For your computer and devices use a ‘strong’ password. I find it’s amazing at how any people still to the ABC or 123 trick!

Keep your security software updated and run a full check frequently. Log this into your timetable as it can take a while.

Use social media wisely. Use the security settings and don’t accept friend requests ad hoc. Quite often I get a friend request via email. What I do, if I don’t recognise the name or their email address, is open the mail preview screen. Then I can see who has asked to be a friend. The ones I suspect, never seem to be there. I wonder why: NOT! If you do get spammed report it to the social media provider.

Keep all your details, and do all your personal activities in, private. And never send money and for goodness sake never get involved with money laundering. Some big laundering cases have broken worldwide.

Do not let anyone pressure you!

Don’t panic!

Is What You Receive Real?

Australian’s Triple C, Competition and Consumer Commission has a little black book you can obtain for free if you live in Australia. I am attempting to get confirmation on whether I can forward a copy to you. Update on that will be here as soon as I am advised.

You need to look out for correspondence that looks like form letters. That is totally non-personal. The language may be poor in quality spelling and expression.

I once got an email from one of Australia’s big banks. The email sounded like they knew me but I had never done business with them. I trashed the email and notified the bank about a potential scam.

After thanking me, they sent me an email telling me how to spot a scam. I thought that was rather unnecessary as I had already spotted it. Most likely written by an automaton!

Don’t be conned. Be Smart

All the information above is to help you spot and avoid scams.

One of the most common items to be scammed are the websites on the internet.

When you join Wealthy Affiliate and purchase a website domain through them you get a secure website. So scamming becomes almost impossible.

(Note I say almost as out there is always someone trying to get around this.)

Visit us at Wealthy Affiliate and take a test drive for free.

 

 

 

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Helen

4 Comments

  1. Hello Helen,
    Your site is very well written. Most of the time, a person wants to know what can be improved. I cannot find anything. There should be a “little black book” on scammers everywhere. Australia has it together. Best of luck in your endeavors with WA.

    • Billy I am a bit late in responding as I haven’t heard back about the little black book. I actually have a copy so I will read it and maybe write another scam article. Keep your eyes out for it.

      Thanks for your comment.

      Ciao
      Helen

  2. Pretty good info here on scams. I am a non believer in hustlers. I believe in hard work and worked from an early age in the military and on to be an electrician. We have bred a new breed of youngsters (40 and below) who want the good life, are well educated but want the easy money. They know what their parents did didn’t work so they concoct these scams. But then I read recently an old lady was in on a scam recently so who knows, people do weird stuff when they get desperate.

    • David, I must admit I am floored at how many people fall for these. Research is essential. Before coming to a group called WA I tried out one company. Firstly I did a scam search with no result. Being occasionally pessimistic, I decided to proceed but I set a moderate (low) budget. Their opening screen was one of those with the ‘hurry up only x positions left’ messages; OK a strong pink light.The first day I paid the moderate fee to join. I got nothing but the, to proceed you need to join x, y and z. All cost! OK, I canned that idea right away.

      The next day I rechecked for scam reports and one, from a WA member was there. It named the site as a scam. I then out of curiosity typed the scam url in. The person promoting it had changed and the number of positions left had more than doubled. To me this is scam or talking to you until you join just to escape! Any link that starts with this guff sets my scam radar to glowing.

      Thanks for the comment.

      Ciao
      Helen

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