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Ultimate Guide to Spot a Scam

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Scams have become more complicated than ever before. In fact, no one is sure of not being scammed at all.

First things first, what does the word scam mean?

This is an illegal act of deceiving somebody in an attempt to steal money or goods.

The scammers have done a great job of evolving their trade. There are so many secrets that it has become hard to distinguish scams from genuine dealings. Having noted the intricacies, we are not going to give up just because another person just got scammed. Indeed, many scammers have also been either busted or simply caught in the act. To protect you from the marauding scammers and scams, it is best to learn which ones are most commonly used and how to counter them. There are, obviously, thousands of types of scams, but this article seeks to review some of the most common ones.

Call for Advance Fee     

If anyone calls asking you to part with money before they provide a service or commit to deliver goods, beware, you may be a scam victim in the offing. Most of those who call for advance fee sound convincing, and sometimes promise what is, realistically, impossible. They will promise rewards or ask for personal information as a prerequisite for the delivery of goods and or services. Play your cards close to your chest when caught up in such a situation. Never reveal more than you should. They will ask for fees to cover transportation or for tax purposes. Make sure that you always read your contract agreements thoroughly, lest you fall into their traps. Most of the fraudsters that use this line prefer wire transfer as their favorite payment channel. Such scams come by mail email or via social networks.

Lotteries and Sweepstakes        

Lotteries and sweepstakes are probably the two oldest and most commonly used excuses to cheat people of their money by clever scammers. If you ever receive mail from overseas regarding a lottery that you have supposedly won, beware, especially if you never took part in any such lottery. The temptation to get rich quickly has often overshadowed the judgment of a lot of people, a situation that leaves them venerable and ripe targets for scammers. Be reasonable. Do not start exchanging private information with people you do not know just because your greed has got the better of you.

One typical characteristic of this kind of scam is that the message or letter will arrive out of the blues. You will usually have never had contact with the agency sending you the mail. You will be asked to pay some amount in fees as a condition for receiving your supposed prize. They will also, commonly, provide a premium rate phone number for you to call in pursuit of your prize. The bottom line here is that you should shun greed. You cannot win in a competition you never entered in the first place.

Romance and Dating Scams

Scammers commonly use dating sites to lure unsuspecting people into nonexistent relationships. Once the scammer has established rapport with you through the dating site, they will try and get as much personal information as they can from you. After enjoying cozy moments online and making sure that the two of you have reached a place of trust and care, the scammer will hatch ingenious ways of getting money from you, including feigning sickness and asking for financial assistance. Remember, these scammers use phony profiles to hoodwink you. The photos and other images you see do not usually represent the actual people on the other end. Scammers on dating sites take their time to win your heart over. They will wait for several months before they strike.

Hackers

It is one of the most common types of scams across the globe. In this one, someone makes spirited attempts to access your computer by using emails. They are commonly called phishing emails. These scammers are more of fishers because they try to hoodwink you into clicking on certain links that give them access to your computer without your knowledge. They act by installing spyware and other data transmission apps on your computer, and in the background. One of the tricks the phishing scammers use is to use the name of a well-known organization so that you do not doubt them. They will send you mail that appears to come from a bank, investment club, or college. They will lead you to a page where you will be required to supply your login details. If you inadvertently provide such information, the scammer immediately seizes your account and blocks you from accessing it.

 Action Scams and Online Shopping

Online shopping is a common way to purchase goods and services in the modern-day. Scammers have also joined the fray. They also shop online for unsuspecting victims. They will appear to sell something and convince online shoppers to purchase using their credit card, wire transfer, or other methods. The pain begins to sore when you wait for the goods you bought for weeks and months on end to no avail. They will either fail to deliver once you have paid or send you a poor-quality product. Some of them pretend to be selling when what they truly want is your personal information that will help them access your account without your knowledge. Online auction scammers masquerade as sales or auction agents disposing of goods at unbeatable prices.

Credit Card and Online Account Scams

In this type of fraud, a scammer sends you a message claiming to be your bank or some online payment agent. They will throw you off balance by first claiming that there is a problem with your account, so you need to verify some information. They will ask you to do so on the bank’s website, but you soon notice that the site is not authentic.

The General Outlook

In today’s world of technology, text messages, chats, and calls dominate our lives. Many scammers know it too and are cashing in on the same. If you happen to receive a strange request, or a peculiar mail or even text message, you should begin to be on guard. Remember not to reveal much until and unless the caller or message sender proves beyond doubt that they are genuine. We understand that friends, family, and even business associates may try to reach you from locations and communication channels you have not used before. The idea here is that you should be on the lookout for the slightest signs of deception. Remember, scammers, go the extra mile to win your trust.

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