How To Protect Yourself From Scams

This is a collaborative post

The modern world is a wonderful one that has given us so much in terms of technological advances that help us live more easily and enjoyably. Unfortunately, though, these same tools that we use to enhance our lives can be used by scammers to try to commit crimes such as taking our money or stealing our identity. In fact, these scammers are becoming more and more sophisticated in their methods, and even people who feel they are good at spotting fake emails and links and other problems could get caught up in the scam these days. 

So what can be done to protect ourselves from scammers and criminals? The good news is that we don’t have to go to the extreme of throwing out our cell phones and no longer using email; there are options. Read on to find out what they are. 

Image from Pixabay

Understand What Scams Are 

To begin with, it’s important to understand what scams are. If you don’t, it’s going to be very hard to determine what is legitimate and what isn’t, and you might get caught in a scam. Alternatively, you might become so worried about scams that you never try anything new, concerned that you could lose money or have your identity stolen. It’s good to be wary, but it shouldn’t affect your life too much. 

The best approach is to assume, when you receive an email or phone call from someone you don’t know, that it is a scam. You can then choose whether or not to research further to determine whether this is the case or not. Remember, if it’s a legitimate request or requirement, you will be asked more than once, and it will make sense to you. 

Install Software 

As much as, when it comes to scams, software can be the issue, it can also be a great deal of help. By installing firewalls and virus checkers on your devices, you can have a great first line of defense up to prevent problems from occurring – links in suspicious emails will be disabled, and most of those emails will either be prevented from coming through in the first place, or they will be sent to your junk folder (remember to check this folder from time to time as legitimate emails can be sent there too by mistake). 

When it comes to spam phone calls, software can help here too. You can use it to find out who really called you because, sadly, phone numbers can be cloned and you might think you are receiving a call from your bank when it’s really a scammer. You can read more on familyorbit.com about how this works. 

Take Care When Shopping Online 

Although in a lot of cases the scammer will come to you through emails and phone calls or perhaps text messages, something you will go to them, albeit unintentionally. Some websites are set up specifically to steal people’s information such as their names, addresses, and of course their payment details. 

This is why it’s so important to check what you are doing when you buy online. Firstly, the site must be the one you wanted; scammers set up sites with very similar names to legitimate stores, tricking people into going to the wrong place. You should also ensure that the site is a secure one; look for the ‘HTTPS’ rather than ‘HTTP’ at the start of the URL, or look for a small padlock symbol in the address bar. You should also consider the payment options; are they what you would expect, or do you have to input bank account details or other unusual information? This could all be leading you to a scam. 

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