Learn how to protect yourself from online scams
The main reason why I think a lot of people are afraid of been scammed/have been scammed online is because they are ignorant about the subject. From my experience online (I have been online now since 2011), I have discovered that it is the people who are afraid of getting scammed that actually get scammed because most of the things that they call scams are not scams while the ones that they like/go for are actually the scams.
What do I mean?
Take myself for instance now, due to the nature of my job, there are times I may want to recommend a product or program for people, and in this case I have to take the first risk to confirm the authenticity of that program or product before telling others about it. In this case, I knew the chances of me losing my money is 50/50. I am willing to take that risk because in this scenario, if the information turns out to be genuine, I would definitely get my investment back in multiple folds.
I have seen programs/products that turned out not to be what they described it to be. I cannot say I have been scammed or ignorant because I am only investigating something. That is part of my job. I knew I was taking a risk for the sake of others.
But the kind of ignorance I am talking about, is to come in contact with an information that deep inside of you, you know fully well that you have much more to gain if that information turns out to be genuine, but you are just too afraid to take that risk and you decided to tag it a scam. You cannot keep running away from every single opportunity out there all in the name of avoiding online scams.
Like you must have known on this site, I am an online marketer and when I started this career, one of the things that I had to learn was how to avoid online scams.
To start with, here are the basics to avoid online scams:
1. First thing you need to do to avoid online scams- Do not click on any link in a mail that tells you to change any of your password or any security code. – This scam tactic is known as phishing and this is how a lot of ATM codes and people’s emails are accessed. You might receive an email in your box that is said to come from GTBank for instance, and the mail might go on to say, there is an attack on the GTB site by scammers and that you should go and change your ATM password on a particular site with the link included in the mail.
Atimes, it might be coded to appear to come from other sites like MTN, Interswitch, GLO, UBA etc. the truth is that you MUST NEVER click on such links and never submit your details on those sites. If you do so, well, you know what will happen.
2. “Congratulations ! You just made a sale, Click here to Claim your earnings ” So many of my students have called me each time they receive this type of email in their inbox. I wonder why they even paid attention to the email in the first place.
Look at this scenario, you have never signed up for any affiliate program and suddenly someone sends you an email telling you , you have made a sale and therefore you should click on a link to claim your earnings. Common ! Money is not made online by magic. If money is so easy to come by online, we would all be billionaires by now.
Never even pay attention to such emails again. If you truly earn a commission, it’s because you are affiliated to the site and when they send you a message, it would clearly indicate the sender’s name.
3. If you did not request for it, it is not for you – This type of scam is the one that baffles me why most people fall for it. I wonder why it is effective. You suddenly receive an email or sms from ETISALAT telling you that you have won some N700,000 and you do not even use ETISALAT. The message goes on to tell you that you should reply with some information.
Once you are foolish enough to respond to it and follow it to a stage, you might get hooked which is the aim of the scammers. From there, you might reveal your security codes or they may ask you to send some amount of money or credit.
4. This one is rather stupid but people still fall for it. – Recently, I received an email from a friend of mine. In that email, he was so excited. Somebody sent him an email from South Africa via Facebook. The mail said the south African sender has an inheritance of about $45m which was left behind by his father and for him to gain access to the money, he has to find somebody from another African country to share it with before the money will be released to him.
Therefore, he wants this friend of mine to share it with him and that if he is interested, he should just send a reply so that they can get started. Now, this is what yahoo guys know as formats. But think about it, somebody over there in South Africa has that much money and he has to come and pick you from nowhere in Nigeria. Talk about stupidness. This may not be the same all the time but most of them look like this.
5. This next one has to do with making payments online. If you want to make payments online and you are afraid of using your ATM/credit card details so that they will not be stolen, take note of this. The first thing you want to be aware of is that when you click on page to make payments, that page must be secured and it must start with https:// the ‘s’ after the http refers to SECURED and there must a padlock sign at the bottom of that window by the right side.
Another thing is the URL of the site in the address bar. For instance, let’s say you are about to make orders on a site known as https://amazon.com but when you click on the make payments link, you are re-directed to a different site which has something like, http://xyz.amazon.com, you must be careful. You may have been redirected to a scam site.
Most of the time, in order to avoid most of these types of scams, just do not order for things on websites that are not known.
6. Don’t Pay Any Merchant Until You Have Received the Product – This one only has to do with people who buy things online and import them. there are sites where you can buy cars, electronics, laptops etc online and get them here in Nigeria. Most of the time, these sites require you to pay first before sending the item across.
Most of these sites consist of different merchants who bring their stuffs to sell on a platform like this. When you are doing business through such sites, make sure you are paying through what is known as ESCROW. Escrow means a company will hold your payments and wait till you have confirmed the delivery of the products that you paid for before releasing the money to the merchant.
With this, if you did not receive the product, you can simply get your money back. For now, these are the basics. In upcoming versions, I am going to let you know other types of online scams and I will even be showing examples as well.
If you want to check if someone is a scammer, assuming you saw an advert on a product you would like to buy and you are not sure if that person is genuine or a scammer, there is one way to do so, just go to www.google.com and type the person’s name like this “Is Aderonke Bamidele A Scam” enter the person’s name in the place where my name is and click search, if the person is a scammer, surely you will see the results.
So, watch out for them and remember to bookmark this page and share it with your friends.