How to avoid being scammed online

Along with the growth of internet users, fraudsters and scams are also increasing. There are various uses of the internet in our life, business, and career. Due to that people are able to access various government and private services online, they are able to sell and purchase, running online businesses, doing online courses and learning new skills, and also getting entertain as well.

But along with that fraudsters and scammers are also taking the advantage of the internet and people.

There are various types of online frauds:

  • Online Shopping Frauds: Where you buy the product, pay the price but don’t get the product.
  • Online Banking Frauds: Your money is transferred to another bank account. Even in there are many cases where you haven’t gotten the OTP but your money transferred to strangers.
  • Online Dating Scams: This type of scams happens through chatting and communication with a stranger on the phone or chat apps. Fraudsters create duplicate social accounts.
  • Make Money Online Scams: This is very common, where people get attracted to make money. And pay upfront to earn or get a lottery or win the schemes. The income report on the web can be fake and can be used to influence to sell you something or make you emotional to exchange money.
  • Online Jobs Scams: People pay money to get jobs but will not get a job.
  • Fake News distribution or TRP scams: People are misguided to take a certain action. They create fake videos and images and also integrate other incidents videos or content in the current incident’s news. And many times, fake social news can impact the law and order situation badly.
  • Fake Stock or Share market Advisor: This type of people contact you by getting your contact number. They also check and identify contact number of people with Demat account. And then call as a stock or share market advisor and consultant.
    They promise too much to make you 2000 to 3000 per day profit. Even they try to convince you of all of your doubts. And they charge or tell you to pay $50 to $100 per week and they have various other plans as well. They look promising on the telephone calls.
    But if ask for their company information, address, registration number, online identification, previous clients’ results or feedback, and other things to confirm that they are original or not, then they will not do that. Even they will tell you that you can contact their seniors. And many other things.
    These types of fraud calls are not only specific to one thing. Even you will get fraud messages of jobs, money each day.
    So be careful and don’t share your information or pay money to anyone without proper investigation or checking and verification of the identity.
  • Online promotion and marketing frauds: These are the fake advertisements that look original, but are scams.
  • Donation & Charity Scams: These scams include fake religious, social, educational small, and bigger groups, in which people are targeted to pay the donation by influencing their emotions. These types of people also use the internet for scams.
  • Data and Information leakage scam: Any government or private employee or authority can share the confidential information or data of the company or government with another company for personal benefits or money. For example, mobile apps can access data of the users to manipulate election results, the stock market, and any government govt. the official can share secret confidential information with a media company or another organization for money.

RelatedWhat is internet safety and why is it important for you

So, scams can happen with anyone, anywhere or through any channel or media. Even the app, website owners will not get information about what is happening on their website or who is using that. Many say they are unable to control what they created.

And anyone can do the frauds. It’s tough to categorize who will not do the scam.

Money scams can also happen legally and in an organized manner.

A scammer can scam banks, governments, and intelligence as well by using loopholes in the laws, systems, and government machinery for frauds.

Scams are not only done by one person but they are also done by a group of people. But many times, even the employees of those fraud companies don’t know they have involved in fraud activities.

And when a scammer becomes an authority through fraud then it becomes dangerous for the society and nation.

To secure yourself from online scam and fraudsters you just have to do the following things:

1. You have to become aware or educated about scams and the internet:

Only education and awareness about scammers, fraudsters, and their techniques can avoid you from scams. The more you have the ideas or awareness about the methods that scammers use to do frauds with people the better it will be for you.

RelatedHow to be safe on the Internet (E-Safety Tips)

 

2. Be careful, when you communicate and share personal data and information on the internet and on phone calls:

Trust is a very important factor behind the growth of online transactions, networks, education, communities, and businesses. And for that fraudsters can do everything to win your trust. But you have to be careful and need to investigate the person or on your own when you communicate and share your personal data and information on the phone, chats, and emails.

 

3. Follow the best practices while downloading and installing apps and software:

Don’t download any type of data or information from a suspicious link or when someone unknown has shared the link with you on the chat app, social media, SMS, and email. Clicking on any suspicious link without understanding and thought can make you a victim of the scam.

Don’t install fake software, pirated software, operating system, and application software in your business or personal computers. And always consider installing and use good quality antivirus.

And if you have business data on your computer, then you can backup or save a copy of your business data to the cloud.

Learn moreUses of Best Cloud Storage Services in our daily life

RelatedBest Cloud Storage for Small Business – Store Business Data Online

4. Use online banking, credit, and debit cards carefully:

With the original shopping websites and apps, scammers can create fake websites and apps that look original. Always check the URL of the website’s, security signals, warning. And don’t just put your debit or credit card details anywhere, just because it’s looking original. Double or triple check everything before making any big transactions or money transfer.

 

5. Improve your intelligence:

Understand the intent of the person connecting and communicating with you. You don’t have to accept every friend request. Nor you have to reply to every chat. So, it’s important to block and avoid connecting with unknown people.

For example, you can avoid joining too many WhatsApp and Facebook groups, email and YouTube channel subscriptions, and various other communities online.

Only connect with meaningful people and groups. Make and remain your social network as clean as possible. And don’t share your personal information when you’re in the doubt, without taking the help of others.

So, build and follow healthy habits online and don’t believe in anyone easily:

RelatedWhy data privacy is important while using mobile apps

6. Don’t allow any app to access your personal data:

Almost all the apps need access to your data to run and work. Data is the fuel of mobile apps. And many apps want you to allow them to use your personal data and information. And if you think your data privacy is your fundamental right then you don’t have to install or use that app. There are always alternatives to do the same work that you’re trying to do.

So, don’t compromise your data and privacy just for the fastest communication, instead use other things that can be a little difficult or costly but at least safe.

 

7. Do not use too many payment apps on the mobile:

Too many payment apps on the phone is not a good and best practice to use technology tools. I think one payment app is enough for normal users. The problem is that each mobile payment app needs your bank’s details and various other information. And that information or data is connected to various channels on the internet and companies. But if you have 3 to 4 payment apps on your phone then think about how many options you’re providing to leakages of your data and information.

So be careful and always use what is best.

The best solution for this is that use a separate phone for banking. In which use only banking app or apps. And don’t install any chat app, entertainment or any type of apps. Just use that for banking purposes.

And each time when you do something on the internet, delete its browsers, uses, junk history, and cookies details. And clear your browser history and cookies details regularly:

RelatedHow to maintain the cleanliness to boost your computer performance

 

8. Don’t’ save your credit cards and banking details on shopping sites:

For your convenience shopping sites try to save your debit or credit card details on their website or application and server. So that next time they will automatically renew your subscription and also provide you 1 click shopping experiences.

But don’t do that. Too much convinces is not good. You don’t when any company or website can be hacked. Or when any company, organization, apps can compromise your data for money and defame you. When you read their term and conditions, they mention it clearly that we’re not responsible for data leakages.

 

9. Save less money on the card or bank account that you use for online transactions:

Only maintain as little money in the bank account that you use for online transactions. And if possible, only deposit or transfer the money in that bank account when you have to make a purchase or transaction. And only deposit the appropriate amount.

Don’t be overconfident on your knowledge or on the companies or online transactions.

And also, be careful when entering any payment details when you are under CCTV cameras or when you’re public or inside too many people.

 

10. Don’t use your exact personal details on the websites:

Only add your genuine information where it’s important. But not in every place. Your name, identity, personal and professional details can be varied. I also mean that use different usernames and passwords on each platform. And always allow OTP for every type of login if possible.

 

11. Don’t click on popup and notification without careful attention:

Mobile apps or websites pop-ups are created with plans and strategies. And fraudster’s strategies will be to collect your details, information and even hack you. So be careful. And also use Antivirus on your mobile phone and computer. So that it can prevent the virus and protect you and your banking details from the fraudster’s people and apps.

RelatedWhy is it important to install antivirus software on a computer?

12. If kids use your phone, then be careful where they click and what they follow:

This is very common these days that kids use their parent’s mobile phone whenever they get chance. It’s ok, but it’s highly possible that they can open or get into the trap of fake links or apps or games. So be attentive when giving access to mobile phones, internet to the kids. So not only you all feel safe, but also that they don’t use your credit, debit, and bank account details.

 

13. Be careful about the things when something looks too much true or shocking or surprising:

Don’t’ react immediately to the auspicious or surprising or shocking news or messages. Give yourself time to make decisions carefully. Any news can be fake and manipulated.

Related: How to make the best use of the internet as a small business owner

 

14. Contact with cybersecurity experts or police when having doubts or scammed:

If you get cheated or if you’re seeing or find something suspicious then complain that to a cyber expert, or police. Even you can also contact that immediately with your parents or friends if you’re not sure. And be careful about fake social media advertisements, friends, groups, and promotions.

So, these are best practices I think can be useful to consider while using the internet, mobile apps, and online banking and shopping.

And always remember, there are more good people in any society than bad. Not all are the same. You just have to be educated. What type of education or awareness you have about your friends, networks, social media groups, society, politics, media, internet, and yourself?

And it matters to take a good and educated decision online and offline.

Note: The ideas and possibilities shared in this article are from various scams news, communication with people, and own learning and experiences. This post is for educational purposes and never mean to defame or disregards anyone.