People have been scamming other people since the dawn of time. They didn't need the internet to take other people for a ride. However, now that we have telephones and the internet, scamming people can be easier. Some suspicious emails and phone calls can be easy to spot. We can laugh them off and wonder why anyone would fall for them. However, anyone can get drawn in by a scam, especially when you're not expecting it. It's important to know how to avoid getting scammed in all the possible ways. Have a look at some of my tips to protect yourself and your money.
Don't Assume You're Immune
People can assume that scammers only go after vulnerable people. While it's true that those such as the elderly can be more susceptible, they aren't the only people scammers target. The worst mistake you can make is to think that you can't be scammed. Don't tell yourself that no one would try and scam you or that you would never fall for one. Scammers use all kinds of techniques to get people to cough up their cash. They can make you panic or do something unquestionably. You only realize you might have been had when the adrenaline dies down, and you come to your senses.
Read Up on Common Scams
If you want to avoid being scammed, it helps to know about some of the common ones you might find. Most people know about scams such as the "Nigerian prince" email. You can find lots of variations on this, which involve sending money to someone. There are many other common scams you can read about to familiarize yourself with them. Some websites list the scams you might come up against and how they're supposed to work. Psychictopia can tell you how to avoid psychic scams by fakes. Obviously, you can't read about every scam in existence. However, many of them are very similar, and you can start to recognize the patterns.
Learn How to Recognize the Signs
When you read about common scams, you can spot some indicators that many of them share. For example, some scams try to get your money by offering you cash or a prize out of the blue. The rule of thumb to use here is that if it seems too good to be true, it probably is. If you don't remember entering a competition, or someone you've never met wants to give you money, it's a scam. There are other ways of getting you to pay for something too. For example, rental scams will use photos of luxury apartments to draw you into paying a deposit. A simple reverse image search will reveal the pictures to be from a hotel or similar. However, many scammers work by frightening you into thinking you need to pay for something. For example, they might pretend to be IRS and even disguise their phone number.
Keep a Cool Head
Scammers will often get you by appealing to your emotions. They make you panic or get you excited, and your feelings take over. It's important to keep a level head and think logically when faced with these things. Of course, that can be difficult in the moment. If you're unsure, you should talk to someone who can give you a second opinion. They can help you to make a rational decision.
Be Alert Online
The internet is full of scammers, and it's where you need to be most vigilant. Clicking on the wrong thing could mean your personal details get into the wrong hands. You need to protect your passwords and make sure you choose strong ones. Be careful about who you give any information to, as well as arranging to meet anyone you talk to online. It's especially important to watch out when you're paying for things or using online banking. For example, some banks will say that they will never email you. So if you get an email from your bank, don't click on it before checking the address. Don't forget to use anti-virus protection too.
Don't Hand Over Money Easily
The ultimate rule is not to give anyone money easily. If anyone is trying to rush you to pay for something, be suspicious about their reasons for doing this. If they want to sell you something, they can afford to wait. It's best to use websites with excellent security and payment protection.
You have to be aware of your actions and how scammers work if you want to avoid getting scammed. Keep your wits about you to protect yourself.