Recognize common online scams | use simple strategies to avoid scams and online fraud
Online fraud is one of the biggest dangers you can run into. Every year online scams are used to steal millions from unsuspecting victims. In the end, it can happen to anyone. There’s no shame in it if it happens to you. We need to be honest about the dangers, and what we can do to minimize them. Just imagine being the staffer who downloaded a CV from a job applicant, only to download a piece of malware with it that nearly helped steal millions of dollars. Fraudsters are clever and use every idea they have for their online scams. So what can we do to avoid scams and prevent fraud? To help you protect yourself we’ve set up this short guide. From basic strategies to the most common types of scams to look out for.
The Basics of how to avoid scams
There are a couple of basic strategies that you can use to protect yourself against online scams. They all boil down to being mindful about how scammers work.
- Unexpected contact – Did someone contact you out of the blue? If someone texts, WhatsApp, emails or calls you out of the blue, it is best to avoid it. Cold calls should raise your suspicions especially.
- Unconventional payment methods – Your suspicions should be raised if someone asks you to pay them in an unconventional, or even strange way. This includes payment requests in cryptocurrencies but also requests to buy a code right here from Recharge.com
- Too good to be true Deals – You should look away when deals are too good to be true. These are common tactics used on online scams.
How to protect your kids from online scams
Children these days spend a lot of time online. This raises the risk of them falling for a scam. Do you have children and are you worried about them falling for online scams? One way to protect your children is to discuss the basic strategies outlined above. Have an open and honest conversation about what the most common scams are and what they look like. Make sure they feel comfortable discussing with you when they see an online scam.
Your child’s ability to avoid scams online is similar to their ability to be responsible offline. Are they for instance capable of having their own phone? Asking yourself these questions should influence your decisions about whether and how your children are allowed to spend money online.
Types of Scams to look out for
Now we’ve discussed the basics of how to avoid scams. One of those elements is to be aware of the most common scams. Some of these scams can include fraudsters asking you to buy a code from Mobiletopup.co.uk. That’s part of the reason why we feel responsible for giving you all the information we can. So you can protect yourself against online scams. So, what are the most common scams?
The first scam we’ll look at is the so-called Marketplace scam. Fraudsters will pretend to be a trusted third party on online platforms or social media. They’ll pretend to sell you something and ask you to buy a code from Mobiletopup.co.uk to pay for it. Or they’ll ask you to pay in a certain cryptocurrency. Another way this scam can go is this. The fraudsters place an order for a code but don’t pay for it. They’ll send the payment link to their victim under the pretense they’re paying for something else. Either way, in the marketplace scam you’re asked to buy a code from us to pay for something else.
How to avoid Marketplace scams:
Stick to the payment methods you know. If an online vendor only accepts payments in crypto currency or gift cards, there might be something wrong. A good rule of thumb is to never buy a gift card for someone you don’t know.
Social Media scam
Another type of common scam is the social media scam. Sometimes this works the same as a marketplace scam. The fraudsters pretend to sell you something and ask you to pay with a code from mobiletopup.co.uk or recharge.com. A common example of this is the puppy scam. The fraudsters sell puppies over social media and ask you to pay in cryptocurrency or codes. In the end, you never get a puppy.
What can you do against social media scams?
When things are being sold over social media it can be difficult to check if everything is real or not. A good piece of advice is to check the photos. Are they stock photos? If they are, it’s probably a scam. You can check if a photo is a stock photo by doing a reverse image search on google. The previous advice still stands: stick to the payment methods you know.
Email or website scam
Next up is the email scam. Fraudsters send you an email that looks like it comes from a trusted source. A common version of this scam uses popular mail services. A Royal mail or dpd scam email looks very close to the real thing. They’ll say they can’t process a package for you until you pay, or they’ll ask you to open a link and enter your details. You may get an email that looks just like it came from mobiletopup.co.uk or recharge.com. They might ask you to buy a code from us and send it to the fraudsters, or they’ll use a link like the example above.
What can you do against email or website scams?
Always check the email address the mail has come from. Fraudsters can fake the name of a sender, but they can’t completely fake the address. Have you received an email that looks like it came from mobiletopup.co.uk, but doesn’t use our normal email address? In that case, it’s most likely an email scam. Report it to us, if you want to. But please do not click on any links in the email.
Ever received a call from Microsoft Tech Support? If you have, someone has tried to scam you. As detailed in their security blog, Microsoft never cold calls you about the security of your computer. This is an example of a phone scam. The fraudsters cold call you and pretend to be from a trusted organization. They can pretend to be Microsoft, mobiletopup.co.uk or even the police. Then they use a made-up excuse to ask you for personal information. That way they can steal your identity or make payments in your name. Another example is if you get a call from someone pretending to be from PayPal. They’ll say the need to verify your identity and to do that you need to buy a code from mobiletopup.co.uk. or recharge.com. This is a scam
How to avoid phone scams:
Cold calls are very rare and bound to very strict rules. The easiest way to protect yourself against this type of scam is to never give out personal information to someone cold calling you. This is doubly true for banking or other payment details. Another good thing to keep in mind is that fraudsters can spoof caller IDs. Always verify who you’re talking to by hanging up and calling them back.