People are scammed all the time. It happens online and offline. People get scammed on FaceBook, over the telephone, through the mail, and many other ways including face-to-face. Sometimes it is hard to see a scam for what it is until it is too late. We are going to look at signs of an online scam and a few other scams to look out for.
In this post we are going to talk about some things that you should know so that you can see a scam coming and you don’t get scammed yourself. In the internet world we call these things, “Red Flags.” By the end of this post you are going to know most of the Red Flags that will tell you to run away from the offer and run away fast.
A Few Different Types of Scams
Below I am going to list a few different scams to look out for. Remember the red flags or the scam methods so that you are educated enough to avoid them.
Advance-Fee Scam or Lottery Scam
An Advance-Fee Scam is normally called a Nigerian Scam. This type of scam is a form of fraud that ask a person (the victim) to put down a small amount of money in order to secure a larger amount of money. This type of scam normally mentions a Nigerian Prince connection (hence the name, Nigerian Scam) or a long-lost relative that has left the victim a large inheritance in some other country.
A Lottery Scam is the same thing only the sender claims you won a huge amount of money in a lottery and they ask you to send them a small deposit. These types of scams are delivered by mail, Email, and even over the telephone.
Advance-Fee and Lottery Scam Red Flags
1) The first red flag is the story for why they are contacting you. If the letter claims you have a long-lost relative that left you some money and the letter is not certified or the phone call is not from an attorney that you can call back: then it’s a scam.
2) The second red flag is they are asking you to put down a small deposit in order to secure the larger amount of money. An attorney will never do this.
A Phishing Scam is normally sent by email or through links in message apps, like FaceBook Messenger. How this works is, the criminals send out link for the victim to click on. Normally, it is from a friend’s account that they hacked earlier, so you think it is OK. When the victim clicks on the link, personal information is downloaded from either his or her computer or social profile.
Emailed Phishing Scams are even harder to notice. During these types of scams, the criminals send out emails that look like the businesses they are trying to mimic. They claim there is an urgent problem with your account at the website and they ask you to log in to fix it. Only, the login page is a fake and all the information that you type into it is copied. Now, the criminal has access to your user profile on that website including; mailing address, credit card on file, passwords, and they can even lock you out of your own account.
Phishing Scam Red Flags
1) They send you a link through a messenger app or social website that claims they found a video of you. Don’t click on any link sent this way until after you directly talk to the person that supposedly sent the link.
2) You get an email claiming there is an urgent reason for you to log in and change or check something. Instead of logging in through the email, go to the website and contact support. They will help you if there is a need and they will thank you for alerting them to a potential scammer using their business name in disguise.
3) Take a look at the URL in the email. It might not look like a true URL for the website the criminal is trying to imitate. A funny looking URL is a dead give away for a Phishing Scam.
Online Romance Scam
It is sad to say, but people fall victim to Online Romance Scams all the time. These types of criminals target people who are looking for love online. They know how to pull a person’s heart strings and get them to send them money by money order and direct deposits. The people falling for this type of scam normally do not see it happening and will laugh off any friend that tries to tell them.
Red flags of an Online Romance Scam
1) They tell you about money hardships and then directly ask you or wait for you to offer to send them some money. They normally do this a short time after they “get to know you.”
2) You chat all the time through message apps or through email, but you never chat face to face either in person or online. They will normally make up excuses for why they can not use live visual chat. This red flag is common, but sometimes a criminal doesn’t care if you see his or her real face because they are sure they will never see you in person.
Online Money Making Scams
I have been the victim of Online Money Making Scams. I didn’t have the correct guidance when I started to learn how to make money online and I wasted a lot of money on scam products. Online Money Making Scams promise the victim that they will teach him or her how to make fast money online.
These types of scams always fall short of their promises and always tell their victims the failure it is her or his fault because they didn’t put in enough work or commitment to make the product work.
The truth is these types of scams never make the victim any money. The snap shots of the criminals accounts, the accounts making all the money in his or her videos or sales pages, are snap shots of them selling the product to other victims. They make the huge amounts of money ripping people off and if you promote their product, then you too are helping them rip off other people just like you.
Red Flags of Online Money Making Scams
1) The person selling the product claims you will make money fast.
You can make money online, but it will not be fast. You need to create and build any business to be successful. This could a brick-and-mortar business or even an online business.
2) They claim the will do all the work for you: you just have to sit back and collect all the money.
Just think about it… Why would anyone offer this type of deal to anyone. Why do they need you if they have done all the work. Why should they let you collect anything from his or her hard work?
3) They offer a program or software that rakes in money even when you are sleeping.
Once again, why would they sell this software if it makes so much money? Don’t fall for the line, “I just want to help others and that is why I am selling this software/program/scam.”
4) If the online money making method seems unethical to you, then it probably is. Just avoid it and look for another way to make money online.
It’s a fact of life, scammers will always be looking for victims that they can get money from. Now, you are educated in some ways that people get scammed every day. What out for these red flags and you will probably be safe from getting scammed.
Listen to your gut or your heart. If it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is. Be safe and safeguard yourself from scammers and the methods they will use to get your money.
The above scams are just a small list of the ways that people are scamming others. Check out this article by Helmdal Security to learn more about methods used by scammers.
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