How to Avoid Being Scammed Online

September 12, 2023
 By Erin H.

With the digital world growing at an alarming rate, it’s no secret that with the advancements and general improvements come a number of risks. One of these risks is in terms of money, as there are a number of scams in circulation that could cost you your hard-earned money. Read on to see some of the measures that you can take to avoid being scammed online. As a result, your experiences online might improve considerably, improving your overall life in the process.

Double-Check Websites While Shopping Online

Online shopping may be amazing, given the fact that it saves you trips to stores and endless queues, among other inconveniences. That said, there are scammers online who could intercept your money in a number of ways. The main way is when a scammer sets up a fraudulent website, listing seemingly amazing products. These websites typically lack a small lock icon on the address bar. When you check out such websites, you may be inadvertently offering your banking details to criminals.

Another scam you may fall victim to while shopping is when you buy an item but get a different, counterfeit, or poor-quality item sent to you. You can lower the chances of this happening by checking out the company you want to buy from on websites that aim to verify online businesses. This is crucial for both buyers and sellers online, given the fact that businesses lose roughly 5% of revenue every single year to fraud, according to the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners or ACFE.

Never Share Personal Information

Another way for you to avoid being scammed online is to avoid sharing any personal information. This is the case for websites that may ask for more information than makes sense for them to need. When your personal details land in the wrong hands, you may become a victim of identity theft. This could see you lose out on savings, earnings, or even compensation in the case of a disability. On average, a long-term disability claim lasts for 34.6 months, according to Finity Group.

Don’t Send Money to Someone You’ve Never Met Physically

In the age of virtual transactions, another thing that you must never do, so you have a lower chance of getting scammed is sending money to a person you haven’t met face-to-face. This could be in the form of a wire transfer, gift card, or even prepaid debit card. All of these have a cash value and they cannot be traced, so if they land in the wrong hands, they’re gone forever.

Even if you’re paying for a service, wait until the person you need to pay shows up to meet with you and does the job that they need to do before you part with your money. This is true for anything, including home improvements. With 50,000 single-family houses that had decks built in 2021, you can be sure that there are many deck contractors online. None of them should ask you to put down payment for a service they haven’t done.

Avoid Pressure on Deals

Finally, remember that if a deal sounds too good, then it most likely is. Such deals will often be of a time-sensitive nature, implying that you’ll miss out if you don’t act fast. Don’t be the victim by getting pushed to make a decision before you’ve had time to think about it in depth. In some cases, you may even be advised against contacting someone else to double-check your decision, which is a major red flag.

When you take these measures, you’ll lower the chances of getting scammed online. Remember that no individual or organization worth their salt will push you to make a fast decision or ask for sensitive information over email. With practice, you can learn all the ways in which to keep yourself safe while enjoying the benefits that the internet offers.

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