So How Do You Spot A Scam? Scams can be difficult to spot at first. Sometimes, a scam page can look just like any other webpage. Anywhere you go on the internet, remember: If it’s too good to be true, it’s probably not true. There are a few basic kinds of scams which I’ll go over. You should generally look out for all of them. Follow these basic tips, and you’ll be on your way to a safer internet experience.
The Get-Rich-Quick Scam: These scams are some of the most common. Some websites claim “make a 6-figure income in your spare time” and “quit your full-time job now!!”. Generally, 99% of these sites are completely false. While the Internet is certainly a lucrative field if you know what you’re doing, expecting to make a 5 or 6 figure income in your spare time is not realistic. An example of a Get-Rich-Quick scam is in the link below. Also, the advertisements on this page probably include Get-Rich-Quick schemes. Just make sure not to actually get into what they’re doing. There are usually big letters and vibrant colors. This is meant to attract your eyes to their page. Make sure not to fall for it!
The Foreign Bank/Lottery Scam: This is a classic one. The e-mail generally starts with a person in distress or you winning a random lottery. The e-mail ends with them wanting a reply with personal information. Sometimes a credit card, or a bank account. Sometimes they want you to wire them a few hundred dollars or pounds to cover shipping or processing costs. All of these claims are scams! It’s impossible to win a random lottery like that, and the chances of some guy in a foreign country wanting average Joe to manage money he’s sending over is close to zero. If you receive an e-mail making claims like this, delete it immediately.
The “Phishing” Scam: This type of scam is far easier to fall for and thus the most potentially dangerous scam. Basically, this type of scam sends you to a webpage that mimics an actual legitimate webpage. Then, it tries to get you to input personal information which they can steal and use. In South Africa scammers tend to target institutions like SARS and other financial and banking institutions. An important thing to remember with this scam is that governmental, financial and banking institutions would not ask you to confirm your details via an e-mail. If you receive an e-mail like this, contact the institution involved directly and confirm whether the e-mail you’ve receive is genuine or not.
Watch out for scams, especially the 3rd type. They can be especially tricky to spot. Looking out for these 3 primary kinds of scams will help make sure that you don’t lose money or time dealing with stupid advertisements you don’t want.
Remember: Be Smart! Be Savvy! Be Safe! Check out the other posts in the Safety & Security section of the Junk Mail blog and the Avoid Scams section on the Junk Mail website for more information about scams.