Protecting Yourself from Scams

How to Avoid Scams

Scammers prey on millions of people, but here’s the honest truth: they consider boomers as their most profitable revenue. And as they grow more and more sophisticated in their ways of deceiving, so should you in protecting yourself from it.

Why are you being targeted?

Wouldn’t it be so easy to fall into your role of the victim and simply hide in your cocoon where it’s safe and no scammer can reach you? Well, the scary thing is that is where they want you to be. Scammers, as dishonest and thieving as they are, are actually a clever bunch. They do their homework and often target people who are vulnerable because they may be:

    1. Lonely and are more susceptible to flattery and emotional manipulation
    2. Living alone and are likely to be at home during the day

What we’re trying to say is that simply staying at home and avoiding people will not protect you against scammers. They can and will engage with you so as to lull you into a false sense of security. This is how most scams succeed. Scammers have a way of making their offer enticing and seem like the real thing—and then they take advantage of you.

How can you protect yourself against scams?

The thing about scams these days is that they’re becoming harder and harder to spot. With people becoming more aware of the possibility, scammers have especially learned to hone in on their “craft” and have developed more ways to take advantage of people. They are not above using technology to pry your personal details from you for example. Their savviness plus their believable stories are two of the main things that they bank on.

So, how can you protect yourself against scammers? We’ve outlined a few ways:

  • Be aware of the fact that it can happen to you

“Constant vigilance,” is what the younger folks would say in reference to one of their literary pieces of choice.

While constantly being on the lookout can get in the way of the proper and thorough enjoyment of life, being aware of the possibility that a scam can happen will help you stay protected.

  • Keep your personal details safe

Don’t make it easy on scammers by giving out too much personal information online. They may use the information there to target you.

While we’re on the topic of keeping personal details safe, let’s talk about your pins and passwords too. If you absolutely have to write them down, make sure to keep them in a safe place at all times.

  • Always check your privacy and security settings

You can lose your account if you’re not too careful. So, as excited as we all may be to connect and meet new friends online, always be on the lookout for suspicious behavior and ensure your safety by making sure that your privacy and security settings are in place.

Questions you should ask yourself to spot a scam

We have to admit–scammers can be quite clever and have developed their scams to seem genuine. However, if your gut tells you that an offer or communication seems remotely suspicious, then ask yourself the following:

1.  Where did this offer come from?

If a good (even seemingly sound) offer appears out of the blue, then you may have been targetted by a scammer. They sometimes rely on the element of surprise and hope that their victim will be overwhelmed by the “good news” and click on the link or reply with their personal details to find out more about the offer.

2.  Are they asking for your personal details?

A bank or any legitimate agency will never ask for your personal details, especially over the phone. They will also never ask for your PIN or password. So if you’re being asked to divulge any of these, then you better walk away from the transaction ASAP.

3.  Are they asking for money in exchange for a prize?

This is one of the more common scams out there: asking you to send an amount in exchange for an even bigger winning. Some will email or call to tell you that you have won something, but to claim it, you will need to send money first.

Some might even play the “for a limited time only” card so as to jolt you into action and give you less time to think about it.

4.  Is it too good to be true?

If all else fails, let this old adage guide you, “If it’s too good to be true, then it probably is.”

Today’s tech-focused landscape may have been meant to help us communicate better and do things (such as sending money to our loved ones) with ease. However, said landscape may also be littered with opportunists and scammers who are waiting for the right time to take advantage of you. Always be vigilant and always go back to the questions we’ve listed above to keep yourself protected.

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