Nowadays, you can be a victim of a scam just about anywhere. However, the most scams occur online in today’s day and age. People over the age of 70 are especially vulnerable since they often don’t know the in’s and outs of technology. Yet that’s not to say that people of all ages can’t be victims of online scams as well.
Never assume that you’re safe, and instead, prepare yourself for the worst by familiarizing yourself with the most common scams. To help you steer clear of being swindled, here are some of the most common online scams and how to avoid them.
On the top of the list are our emails. It’s all too common of a scenario— an unsuspecting consumer receives an e-mail with an unbeatable deal, so they follow the link only to find themselves a victim of a scam. Usually, the website will entice you with a great offer, and ask for your payment information, which unfortunately isn’t actually going towards a purchase, but into their malicious database of victims’ financial information.
These kinds of websites may also contain ransomware which will be installed onto your device and steal all of the information on your computer. Whenever you receive an email with a link, always make sure that you verify the sender.
A general rule of thumb is if it seems suspicious, then you should always trust your instinct. Always err on the side of caution when it comes to clicking on links,—especially from unidentified senders.
Another trick you should be on the lookout for is when you type in a URL with a typo. Hackers will reroute you to a malicious website that will trick you into thinking it’s the real site. You’ll enter your information, and next thing you know, they’ve got you. The best possible way to protect yourself from websites like these is to enable cookies so that your passwords are saved.
That way, you know that if you have to type in your entire login and password again, it may be another site and not the real one. Always make sure that you read the URL carefully. If there is a letter missing or a different word the normal in the you are all, then exit the site immediately.
One of the latest scams are people hacking the account of your loved ones, and sending a message from their account. Usually they ask how you’re doing and make small talk before asking you to help them out of a difficult situation. Usually they’ll ask you to send them money, or give your personal information that they can use maliciously against you.
If you suspect that one of your loved ones’ accounts has been hacked, always call them on the phone and ask if they’re the one you’ve been speaking to. Most of the time in situations like these their account has been hacked and they’re not actually asking you to send them money.