Learn how to protect yourself
The internet is a wonderful place and tool. With all the new technologies coming out every day, we move most of our lives to the web. e-commerce, ads, social media, games, education, a lot of life now depends directly on these technologies. However, with all of these conveniences, come new risks and dangers. Scamming is one of the most feared threats online right now.
Scammers are people who lie about their identity online and somehow extort money from their victims. There are a lot of ways you could get scammed, one of the most common being emails. Scammers use “phishing” to trick people into sending money. These criminals hide their intentions by telling stories. Some are religious advocates from other countries, others just want to help you get an inheritance from a deceased unknown relative. Regardless of the story they tell you, they ask for money and then disappear forever.
Speaking about emails, there is one thing that confuses most people. How can anyone fall for phishing? The messages they send are usually written with extremely poor grammar and tell extraordinary stories. These are the most easily identifiable threats. However, even these affect people. If you’re not very skilled with computers, if you’re expecting something similar to what they’re offering, or even if you get home late and you’re very tired, you could be vulnerable to these. Some people are also not aware of how these cybercriminals operate.
Surprisingly, it is said that cybercriminals who spam emails write poorly intentionally. However, this is made with a purpose. They do this as a filter. Only those people that answer to obviously fake emails are gullible enough to follow through the scammer’s game. That’s how they choose their victims.
Then, there are more elaborate threats. Scammers don’t just work by email or by asking for money in suspicious ways. Phone calls or messages acting as if they’re your internet or delivery company, some even try to act as family members, are another way in which scammers operate. Some cybercriminals act on dating sites like Tinder, looking for relationships where they can get quick money, most of them by pretending to be someone else.
On platforms like Instagram, it’s common for fake accounts to offer services like hacking, financial consultation, social media growth and trading. They ask for money for their amazing services but don’t answer once you give it to them, some of the people that offer these “services” might go as far as buying people’s comments and likes to help build a positive social media reputation and being able to attract more clients. On YouTube, it’s common to see bots spamming phone numbers advertising similar services with the same results.
There is an infinity of scams out there that people run on the internet, so the question is: how do you protect yourself against scams?
Get familiar with scams
The more familiar you are with scams, the more people are familiar with the internet and its dangers, and the less likely are to be victims of the simple tricks scammers use. The more you’ve seen the typical scammer schemes, the more you’re able to recognize them. You can read up more about scams or you can tell people you’re close with about them. Also, tell people how to prevent scams. The best measure of defense is to be well educated about the topic.
The most popular methods for scamming right now are phishing, lottery, bitcoin and travel scams, most of these are made through links or suspicious messages sent through mail or social media DMs. Phishing is definitely the most popular and one of the most dangerous out of the bunch, which is why it’s essential to fully understand how it works and what to do in case you become a victim.
Scammers start by sending you a poorly redacted email and make you think they come from a reputable source, like a bank institution, social media representatives or various companies. By doing this, they can use social engineering techniques to convince you to click on a link. When clicking on it, you’re redirected to a legitimate-looking website, when in reality it is a fake one. They’ll ask you to enter your data and information, and if you’re not careful enough and you provide those without noticing the website is not legitimate, you’re getting your data taken away from you or getting malware installed on your device.
What can you do if you click on one of these links? Disconnect your device from the Internet right away, this decreases the spreading of the malware. Then, make a backup, and change your credentials in websites where you have the same username and passwords you entered before in the fake website.
Also, make sure you scan your device for malware, ensuring the safety of it and the protection of the information it holds. Lastly, it’s highly recommended that you report this case to the Federal Trade Commission and stay alert in case of future scam attempts.
Scammers can find your contact in many ways. For example, they can find your email or your number on social media. A lot of people, mostly business ones, have their contact information on their social media biography which can lead to potential scams. Another thing worth noticing is that if you start answering scam emails, some of these add your mail to a list, other cybercriminals take mails from this list to target their victims.
The best way to protect yourself is to use methods to protect your privacy. If you’re mindful of the things you do online, are not entering your personal information in a weird-looking website and are, in general, alert while browsing online, you’ll rarely be a victim of scammers. Things like proxies, VPNs and disposable numbers are some great tools to start protecting yourself that are worth a try.
Of all these methods, the best one is the third: disposable virtual numbers. With them, you can browse your favorite platforms online without needing to worry about leaving your real number out there. If you’re looking for a provider, you can check us out: Major Phones. We offer the best real US and UK numbers to verify various platforms, so go ahead and protect yourself better with a quality SMS verification service. Sign up now!