5 Ways to Avoid Online Scams

By Ashutosh Jha → Last Updated on Monday, September 9, 2019
As long as there is information to be gleaned or money to be taken, there will always be new online scams out there. But fortunately, there are some basics you can keep in mind to always stay one step ahead, no matter what specific kind of scam you may run across.

5 Ways to Avoid Online Scams
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To stay safe from online scams, please follow these 5 ways to avoid online scams.

5 Ways to Avoid Online Scams

Here are some of the top ways you can follow to avoid online scams. These are free ways and you don't have to spend any dime for these.

#1 Make Sure an Online Entity is Legitimate

Say you get an email that prompts you to click through to a site to get a great deal on something. Or you run across a website that encourages you to access the great information on their other pages. But before you click on any link, and definitely before you send any money, do a little investigating about the entity prompting you to do such things.

Independent of any emails or other correspondence you may receive, search for the company elsewhere online. And analyze their own online presence. Does their website look legitimate and professional? Are there any verifiable customer reviews you can check out? Does the company come up in a search as a scam?

#2 If a Link Looks Odd, Don’t Click on It

In some cases, it’s obvious that a link is illegitimate. But sometimes there are Click Here buttons and shortened links that aren’t so revealing at the outset. In this case, the mouseover is your best friend.

Simply move your mouse over a link or button. Do not click on it! By just moving the cursor to stop over the linked element, the actual full link should appear in a hover box.

If the address doesn’t match the link shown (apart from shortened links, which can be used to take the place of potentially long URLs), and especially if the address looks scammy, your wisest course of action would be to simply delete the email or close the webpage.

#3 Don’t Be Dazzled by False Promises

A popular way for scammers to lure people in is with email subjects and headlines promising incredible discounts or free gifts to those who go to their site. Don’t let such promises blind you to the probability of a scam.

Remember the sayings, "there’s no such thing as a free lunch” and “if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is." In other words, nothing is ever really free. Especially when it comes to marketing gimmicks. Read the fine print. Even if a headline is shouting otherwise, odds are you will have to pay something, whether it’s your time, money or both.

#4 Count to 10

Whether you’re faced with a free deal or an email claiming your bank account has been compromised, the most important thing you can do is stay calm. Many online scams succeed because they put a perceived time limit on their claims, which causes their victims to panic and follow through without thinking.

Take a deep breath, and really consider what you’re seeing. And take the time to go through the safety techniques described above. Is that email really from your bank? Do you really think you’re going to win $1,000,000? Probably not. Don’t let those scammers psych you out.

#5 Pay Safely

If everything looks legitimate, you may decide to move forward with the deal that’s been proposed. If you’ve done your due diligence, there’s nothing wrong with that. The one last hurdle you have with any deal where the money is exchanged is to make sure that that exchange is secure and safe.

The only really secure way to send money is through a digital payment platform, like Paypal or Venmo. If the recipient requests cash or a wire transfer, know that those kinds of methods leave you vulnerable to scams, with little to no recourse if they just take the money and run.

Think You’ve Already Been a Victim? Check Your Info

With all the data hacks that have been going on with popular social media sites and banking and credit institutions, you would be right to be concerned that your information has already been compromised. One step that you can take to verify such information is with an online public records search. Simply enter your name, city, and state, and you can get access to your available public records information.

If something looks off, you may have been the victim of a scam. But at least now you know, and can start to take the proper steps to fix your information and your reputation.

Don’t let the scammers win! They will probably never fully go away, but you don’t have to be scared all the time that you’ll fall victim to their ploys. Just use common sense, and the tips outlined above, to keep you, your money, and your information safe from online scams.

For such posts related to security and safety, please check our online security section.
Ashutosh Jha

Ashutosh Jha is a professional blogger, Blog and IT Consultant. He writes about Blogging, SEO, Making Money, Internet Marketing and Web Design.
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