Each day newsfeeds and channels carry reports about people getting scammed in some way or the other. The FTC received more than 2.8 million fraud reports in 2021, amounting to losses of more than $5.8 million. More often than not, those who think they won’t fall for scams are usually the victims. So if you want to protect yourself from scammers, here are five common tricks to recognize:
This trick includes offers of free one-month trials of products or services, such as teeth whiteners and streaming platforms. All the scammers ask you to pay is a small amount when in reality, they hide the fine print that obligates users to pay a monthly fee. Further, canceling these subscriptions may also be an expensive process. So before signing up for such trials, ensure that you read the fine print and do not fall for testimonials on the site. A reputable company will usually let you cancel, get out of a contract, and negotiate a refund.
Tons of influencers on video streaming platforms carefully curate content for their subscribers. Occasionally, they may even plan giveaways. But hundreds of scammers create similar profiles and add links to comments announcing free giveaways for the winners of a lucky draw. The scammer asks the alleged winners to pay for only the delivery fee of the giveaway. However, when they do, no prize is sent, and the unsuspecting subscriber loses money. As a workaround, you should ensure the influencer profile is verified and credible before participating in giveaways. Additionally, most influencers will never ask for a delivery fee if they create a giveaway.
Free Wi-Fi hotspot
People at an airport or cafe often use public Wi-Fi as it is free and works exceptionally well. However, scammers create sites that resemble legitimate free Wi-Fi providers. Any user who connects to this network may expose their banking, credit card, password, and other sensitive information. So you should check if your smart device does not automatically connect to these networks. Using a VPN may also help mask your system from hackers.
Several people report seeing a pop-up that looks like a legitimate antivirus notification when they visit a website. The notification may indicate your system or antivirus software has detected viruses on the computer when in fact, it is part of a bigger ploy. If a user clicks on the link, the malware installs itself on the computer and pretends to remove viruses. Instead, it steals sensitive information that may result in the user losing money. The best way to avoid this is by closing the pop-up immediately without clicking links. Running a full system scan on a legitimate antivirus software may also help eliminate potential threats.
People often shop from e-commerce websites for electronics and essentials. Unfortunately, scammers design websites that look exactly like official retail platforms. Following this, they offer a similar product at an unbelievably low price. The only problem is that when the user makes the payment, they receive an inferior product via delivery, with no means to return it or seek a refund. You should always look closely at the domain names of such pages and thoroughly read the reviews.