How to Reduce Risk of Online Scams

Photo by Pickawood on Unsplash

It doesn’t matter if you are a finance expert, bank CEO, money pro or complete amateur. Scammers are working hard to get you.

Online scam are on the rise. Now more than ever, conviniently using Covid-19 and the pandemic to find new ways to your hard earned moeny. The fact that are more and more (elderly) people using internet for shopping and other online transaction means more opportunity for online scams.

A particular style of scams arising during the pandemic are investment scams targeting people on social media. To be precise they managed to steal over £63 milion. In a 12-month period from April 2020, 5,039 reports of investment fraud made reference to a social media platform, with the most common being Instagram (35.2 per cent) followed by Facebook (18.4 per cent). Nearly half of the scams (44.7 per cent) involved tricking victims into thinking they were investing in cryptocurrency.

How can you protect yourself?

There are some basic steps you can take to protect your investments and keep your money safe.

Watch our for these red flags:

  • Cold calls— it’s not 1985. Companies are not cold calling anymore trying to convince you to invest in this amazing new opportunity over the phone. If they do, it’s probably becacause they are targeting elderly people.
  • Suspicious e-mails — please always check the sender name and address, google the name, research the company. And no, Nigerian prince would not e-mail asking to invest.
  • Random text asking you to click on a link or call back — do I even need to explain this one.
  • Anyone asking for your personal info — Such as home address, card details, PIN numbers.

Do this:

  • Ask question — the chances are they will get confused or let you go if you ask a lot of questions.
  • Be informed — The more you know about what’s going on aroud you the better you’ll be in spotting when something is wrong.
  • Don’t answer unknown number
  • Change your password regularly — avoid simple and personal password such as birthdays, pet names and similar.
  • If it’s too good to be true — chances are, it probably is. Particularly with crypto scams as not many people truly undertand how different crypto technologies works.

What to do if you’re scammed

Cyber criminals are always thinking of new ways to fool people, so use caution anytime you’re on the web. If you fall for a cyber scam (or think you may have), don’t be embarrassed. Gather any relevant information about the incident and report it immediately to your local authority.

Talk to your loved ones about this and what they can do to protect themself from online scams, and encourage them to tell you if they think they’re being scammed.

Useful resoruces:

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Josip Kuštera

Josip Kuštera

As I sat in my poorly lit bedroom corner, trying to come up with an au courant bio, I could not but wonder - will I ever make it as a Medium writer? ✍️

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