How to prevent online scams

How to prevent online scams

The Internet has literally revolutionized our lives. Nowadays we use the Web to do practically everything: ordering food at home, organizing trips, checking the current account, renting holiday homes, buying products and the list could go on for a long time. Although it is convenient and, usually, convenient, use the online services that allow you to perform all these activities, remember that even in the world of the Web you can come across some scams.

Fortunately, to how to prevent online scams, just use a little ‘common sense and a little forethought. Which? Give me a few minutes of your free time and let me explain it to you. If you want, in the next paragraphs I will give you some general advice thanks to which you can avoid doing some false steps that, unfortunately, are committed every day by many users who then end up in the hands of online scammers.

I intrigued you and now you would like to deepen the topic? Fantastic! Make yourself comfortable, take all the time you need to concentrate on reading this guide and, more importantly, implement the “tips” that I will give you. I wish you good reading and I wish you a big good luck for your online safety!

How to prevent online scams – Be careful of suspicious emails

How to prevent online scams

Watching for suspicious emails is one of the first things you should do to prevent online scams and, in this case, the phenomenon of phishing. In fact, scammers often send emails to their potential victims in which there are links: if the user clicks on them, they are sent back to websites created ad hoc by the scammers, in which they are asked to enter data regarding their own credit card, their social accounts or their own home banking service (perhaps with the usual excuse of resetting the password for “security” issues). If the user falls into the trap, “collaborates” (unconsciously) with the criminal giving him the data he is looking for.

Are you wondering how you can avoid falling victim to phishing? Just ignore the suspicious emails (often characterized by a somewhat uncertain grammar and the presence of “strange” requests, such as the invitation to click on a link, in fact) and not click on the links contained within them. Remember that e-commerce sites, social networks and lenders never send e-mails of this type to reset their access data or to confirm other personal information (if not behind a request from the user same).

If you’ve recently received a high number of suspicious emails, try to block unwanted emails and fight spam by following the “tips” in the tutorials I’ve dedicated to this topic. For example, in these insights you will find useful tips on the use of spam filters and temporary emails (eg Tempinbox, Airmail or Mailinator): treasure!

How to prevent online scams – Rely on secure web portals

How to prevent online scams

Whether you are shopping online or looking for a rental property, it is important to rely on secure web portals in order to avoid unpleasant surprises. How can you recognize a secure website from a less reliable website?

Well, for example, you can check that the web portal from which you intend to make a purchase or book a hotel uses the HTTPS protocol (HyperText Transfer Protocol over Secure Socket Layer), which indicates the presence of a secure connection (you can check this information from the search bar on the browser, in which a lock should be shown). Beyond that, you can check the so-called “Web Reputation” of a website by trying to search on a search engine (eg Google or Bing) reviews from other users who may have already had to deal with it.

And if from your research you can not find any feedback – not even negative – on the portal you are attending? Well, when in doubt it is better to avoid venturing into some potentially dangerous “adventure”. The advice I give you is to rely on web portals known to be reputable when you shop online (eg Amazon, eBay, ePRICE, etc.)

How to prevent online scams – Check the reliability of the information

How to prevent online scams

Of course, relying on secure Web portals is not enough to prevent online scams, you must also check the reliability of the information published in the various listings. How can you do it? I’ll give you a couple of practical examples, in order to understand each other better.

Let’s put the case that you are making an online purchase and want to check the information in an advertisement. You can do this in at least three ways: 1) analyzing the feedback released by other users; 2) comparing the price published in the listing with the prices on other ads or on other online stores (usually an unjustifiably too low price hides a scam) and 3) paying attention to any “strange” requests made by the seller, such as the one to close the deal out of the online store, perhaps at a more “advantageous” price.

Let’s take another example. You are looking for a house for rent and you want to check the veracity of the information in the ad. How can you do it? You can verify that the contact details provided by the (alleged) home owner are actually his by calling the number indicated in the ad and maybe even using some online service (like ChiChiama, Tellows, etc.) to trace the person’s name starting from the number phone: if from your “investigations” you discover that there are some inconsistencies, it is very probable that you are faced with a scam. You can also go there (if you can do it) to check the real availability of the apartment and / or find some feedback using Google Maps or other online services.

Never trust anything written in the ad. Use a bit of healthy critical sense and always check that the advertiser’s affirmation is proven by tangible feedback. As they say, prudence is never too much!

How to prevent online scams – Use secure payment methods

How to prevent online scams

Another trick you can take to prevent online scams is to use secure payment methods, such as prepaid cards, bank transfers and, even better, payment through your PayPal account.

Why do you recommend preferring PayPal to all other payment methods? Well, first of all because this payment system allows you to transfer money without providing the bank account details of your current account or your credit card number (thus avoiding being cloned) and is also a quick and easy way to make online transactions.

More importantly, by making payments through a PayPal account, you can join the PayPal Program for the protection of the buyer, which allows you to receive a refund of the full amount of a purchase (including shipping costs) should problems arise ( eg the product does not conform to the description given in the announcement, shows signs of wear or damage not indicated by the seller, is not delivered at all, etc.). For more details about the PayPal Program for the protection of the buyer, read the detail in which I explain in detail what is PayPal and also visit the PayPal website.

If for one reason or another you can not use PayPal, make purchases by bank transfer or postal; do not make payments by Postepay (for italy) or Western Union because you risk “pulling the hoe on your feet”, as they say. I got it?

How to prevent online scams – Other useful tips

How to prevent online scams

In addition to the “tips” I gave you in the previous paragraphs, there are other useful tips to prevent online scams. I’m sure they will be of great help.

  • Use common sense – whatever the activity you are doing on the Web (buying a product, organizing a holiday, booking a restaurant, etc.), using common sense will allow you to avoid getting caught up in ride from the swindler on duty. Therefore, never agree to “strange” requests (eg pay the deposit before seeing the house you found on an ad site) because they surely hide a scam.
  • Beware of counterfeit products – the phenomenon of counterfeiting has existed for a very long time, well before online stores were born; the Web has simply amplified an already existing problem. To avoid falling victim to, distrust from branded products sold at inexplicably low prices (eg designer bags, high-end smartphones, etc.) because if an offer is “too good to be true“, obviously it is not.
  • Check the balance of your current account and your credit card – if you have this good habit you will immediately notice any “suspicious” movements and you will be able to block them before it is too late. Some lenders send text messages and other alerts when transitions are made and offer other solutions to combat online scams. Try asking your credit institution if you can take such measures and if so, use them.
  • Compare more offers – are you looking for a flight? Are you considering buying a product? Are you going to book a hotel? “To hear more bells” will not only allow you to find the best offer, but also find any “suspicious” prices and avoid any scams.

How to prevent online scams