With a new year comes new technological innovations followed by more sophisticated ways of scamming people. Nowadays, scammers are booming because they can easily access one’s information through digital platforms. They no longer need to meet individuals to ask them to do things that may result in losing their money.
Scams can happen even when you’re only using phone—especially if you regularly use the internet. Some of these include enrolling in online courses, purchasing online, and using social media platforms. To elaborate more on how you can be a victim of such instances, read on below and find out how you can prevent such scams:
Choose Reputable Online Courses
One of the benefits of technological innovation and access to the internet is the ability to study online. From academic degrees to other types of online learning courses, your choices are too vast. You can even find free and cheap online courses where you can get certificates and diplomas you can use to apply for work.
With such comes the opportunity of scammers to develop fake diplomas or low-quality education. Don’t end up broke by paying for these courses by doing due diligence. Thus, before you pay for any online learning material, be wary of the following attributes that make it a scam, and do the following tips instead:
- For academic courses, ensure the online academy or platform is associated with professional education agencies or under the state’s supervision. Without such, they may not have approved curricula or standards affecting the credibility of your diploma or certificate.
- For other learning courses, you may have to check the courses’ objectives. Or check independent review sites that may have evaluated a course’s credibility. One example is ScamRisk’s in-depth review of a lead generation online course. With such, you can weigh whether to invest your money in it. And according to ScamRisk, they approve it as a good online course. By checking third-party review sites, you can ensure that you’re buying a course and not a scheme to advertise and make you purchase unrelated products.
- Moreover, the course may not be a selling session, but the quality of education you get is sub-standard. That’s because the author or course provider isn’t an expert in such an industry. Thus, you may have to conduct a background check on the person developing the course to verify whether or not they have an in-depth understanding of the courses they offer.
Limit Sharing Your Banking Information
Sometimes, people get scammed because of carelessness. These people are what scammers usually victimize. Although online payments are now available online, you don’t have to share all your banking information.
Be wary of sites asking you to enter everything about your card or banking information such as credit card number, CVC, birthdate, email address, contact number, OTPs, and the like. They can use this vital information to access your bank accounts.
That’s why before you enter your card information on any site or app, do research. Check the site’s reputation, and search for news about it. If you find little information about the site online, then you may want to avoid it.
Shop With Trusted Sites
In connection with the previous section, you may also have to select and shop on trusted sites. The growth of e-commerce sites attract cyber frauds and scams worldwide. They can easily make an online store to attract you to buy from them. After getting your payment, they may either block you or send you nothing because they don’t have products to offer.
Thus, you may want to do the following security tips when shopping online:
- Take advantage of your social media account to search for groups that disgruntled customers may have created against such sites. Or search on social media for the site as posts regarding such will appear.
- Check the feedback, reviews, and ratings about the online store by visiting their e-commerce site or social media pages.
- Also, you can use third-party reviews on what they have to say about the online store.
- Most importantly, avoid clicking a social media or email link directing you to a shopping site. Instead, directly search on the online store’s website address. That way, you can avoid cybercriminals using a reputable site to direct you to a scamming site.
Protect Your Social Media Accounts
While social media platforms are mainly for socializing, many businesses now use them for advertising their brand, products, and services. As mentioned, you may want to directly visit the online store’s website address from a browser.
However, scammers also roam social media platforms to look for vulnerable victims. They’ll follow you and use your personal posts to steal your identity. For instance, they may use your photos to make another account to pose as you to scam people. You may not be the one scammed, but you may reap the backlash of their actions: victims may accuse you of scamming them.
There are other ways they can use your social media posts and information to scam you. Thus, you may want to follow these preventive measures to avoid social media scams:
- Never share an address, full name, and other private information, including your family’s confidential information. You never know how cybercriminals can get your information from the internet. With such collected information, they can guess what your email address might be. Then, they’ll send you emails containing viruses or malware that can steal data from your devices.
- Check the privacy settings of your social media accounts. Avoid the default settings of social media accounts as you may not know that you’re permitting them to share your data online. Thus, making your information or data exposed to hackers. Instead, change it to make your information private or require your permission every time someone will access your account or data. By doing this, you can prevent unconsciously leaking your data and other information to the online world.
There are many ways to become a victim of a scam, and the best way is to stay vigilant. Although it may take some time to verify a website or online store’s credibility, it’s still best to conduct a background check. In this way, you can verify that the website or store is legitimate. Spending your time on research and due diligence may be better than spending your money on scammers. You may want to follow the tips above to protect yourself from scams this 2021.