How to Avoid an Online Scam


You could be a target of an online scam. Read this simple guide to find out the clear signs that you’re being targeted and how you can avoid getting scammed.

Look for Fishy Details

A phishing scam is a falsified email or message sent by a familiar person or organization. Scammers usually disguise the emails as messages from authorities like branches of government, banks or utility companies.

How can you tell it’s not from the authority? There are small details that can hint at the email’s illegitimacy. The email has obvious typos. The message addresses you as “customer” or “client” instead of your name or account number. The sender’s email address doesn’t match the official email address on the company website.

Ignore Random Financial Offers

Financial offers (whether they’re prize winnings, crypto investments, business funds or personal loans) don’t just fall into your lap. Any random email you receive about financial opportunities should be looked at with serious scrutiny. It’s luring you toward a scam.

Scammers depend on their targets being financially desperate. There’s a reason why numerous online scams surfaced during the pandemic— some even promised money from the U.S. Department of Treasury. People were scared and suffering from financial instability. Their desperation made them easy targets.

Don’t let your desperation or panic get the better of you. If you’re in a really tight spot, like you’re dealing with an emergency expense and you don’t have the savings to cover it, you’re going to be tempted to take their offer. Don’t.

What can you do instead? You can use your credit card, or you can try to apply for a short term loan online. Click here to learn about the potential benefits of online short term loan options. This could help you in your emergency.

When applying for a short term loan online, go to a legitimate source. Do your research. Read through the reviews. Don’t rush the process. You want to guarantee that this financial help is coming from a reliable place.

Don’t Click Mystery Links

Some phishing scams will try to get you to click on a link in the email. Typically, this link brings you to a falsified website where you can input private information like your debit card PIN, your social security number or private account password. It’s trying to trick you into giving away your personal information.

Don’t Download Mystery Attachments

Another common online scam gets victims to download malware onto their tech. Malware can infect your computer and ruin its performance. It can be used to spy on you and your actions online. It could even help the scammer freeze your device and hold it for ransom. So, whatever you do, don’t download any mysterious attachments or apps.

What to Do When You Spot a Scam

You’ve determined that an email in your inbox is an online scam. Now what?

Block Them

You don’t want this scammer to continue having access to your email. So, block the email on your account to stop them from making a second attempt.

Report It

You should always report online scams to the Federal Trade Commission, even when you don’t fall victim to them.

Warn Friends

Warn your friends and family members about this type of scam, especially if they’re not tech-savvy. You don’t want them to fall victim to cybercriminals. Keep your eyes peeled for online scams. You’ll want to do your best to protect yourself.

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