We’ve all been on the receiving end of some attempt to scam us at some point or another in our lives. Whether that’s an email that we’ve won a huge amount of money, that a distant relative we’ve never heard of has left a huge sum of inheritance to us, or something a little less subtle – perhaps that a small payment has bounced and we need to repay it. But hopefully, you never actually fall for an online scam. Unfortunately, there are a lot of people out there vying for your details for illicit purposes and it’s important that you do your utmost to be savvy with their ways and to avoid them at all costs. Here are a few pieces of advice that can help you to protect yourself from online scams!
Be On High Alert for Coronavirus Related Scams
Sure, you’d hope that people wouldn’t be so callous as to try to benefit from a worldwide pandemic that’s killing hundreds of thousands of people. But cybercriminals aren’t the most scrupulous people when it comes to morals. Many are preying on the majority’s current vulnerable situation, as well as the uncertainty of most people’s situations, to get personal information, card details, and more. If you receive any emails about stimulus checks, government help, furloughing, and more, it’s absolutely essential that you check they are from a legitimate source. No official bodies will ask you to click a link or reply directly to an email to provide personal information or payment details.
Avoid Getting Ripped Off
Some scams aren’t necessarily illegal. They may just dupe you into spending more money on something than you initially planned to. Take free pipe frenzy as an example. This offers a free pipe to anyone – you just have to pay handling and shipping fees. It just so happens that the handling and shipping fees cost more than buying a pipe outright with free postage from another supplier!
Be Vigilant With Your Emails
Most con artists will try to scam you via email. This technique is known as “phishing”. They’ll generally send you an email that encourages you to fill in your personal details, which they can then use for the purpose of identity fraud or legitimate theft from your bank account. The email generally counts on you being in the majority – you may receive an email saying your Netflix subscription has failed, your council tax hasn’t been paid, or that your bank needs you to update your details, for example. These rely on you having Netflix, having a council tax direct debit or banking with the bank they’re pretending to be, otherwise, their email won’t make sense. But most people will fall into these categories and can easily be duped. Be aware that most official bodies will never request information by email. If your worried payments may have failed, contact the relevant customer helplines for the services directly yourself. Do not reply to the email.
It really is essential to protect yourself from cybercriminals. Hopefully, the above information will help you to achieve this!
*image credits: Photo Source